If you love to see the world, then these are some schools that would make you green with envy. Continued from non-traditional schools that rethink higher education.
THINK Global School
THINK brings the phrase “school’s out” to a whole new level. Here, students aged 14 to 18 travel to 9 countries in the span of 3 years as part of the school’s “21st century curriculum for a rapidly changing and rapidly shrinking planet”, and take International Baccalaureate (IB) courses that allow them to graduate within the same time it takes to get a poly diploma.
While students still study in traditional school facilities in each host city, THINK combines this with enrichment opportunities only to be found when travelling, such as biology lessons on a rainforest hike, and project-based learning via writing blog posts and filming vlogs. Schedules at THINK are flexible, “built to adapt to any of the unique prospects for learning that may pop up during the week.” The entire student body represents over 20 nationalities, and grade levels are capped at around 15 students, with an acceptance rate of only 12%. Tuition fees are US$79k per year, with sliding-scale tuitions available for those with financial need.
The Traveling School
The Traveling School has similar goals to THINK, though it only focuses on female students, who travel for a semester to 3 – 4 countries in a selected region — fall semesters visit Southern Africa, spring semesters visit South America. This is for “overseas exploration, academic challenges, expanded outdoor skills, and a deeper engagement with the world.”
Again, programmes are capped at 16 international students (again aged 14 – 18), who have the opportunity to earn full high school credit (from your home high school) in traditional courses like math and English. Tuition fees are US$26.5k per semester, and financial aid range from 10% – 60% of the tuition. The school itself also provides college seminar-style classes that are interdisciplinary, student-centred, and focus more on “transformative teaching”.
Out with the old, in with the new
As amazing as these curricula sound to us students who long for freedom beyond our enclosed school walls, getting accepted unfortunately isn’t very easy — you have to be smart in the first place. Furthermore, parents may not view this change as positively as we do, and may frown upon it in disapproval because it doesn’t seem very “reliable” or “safe”.
However, as our society becomes more globalised and technology more advanced, it’s about time we reinvent our education system. We need to rethink the traditional route to higher education (or a career), and these schools are paving the way.
By: Chan Choy Yu