Every school brochure will say that today’s great schools must prepare students for global life. If the 20th century was dominated by American leadership, the 21st century will be, as one Chinese leader said, “a kitchen with many chefs.” Modern students must have more than a passing understanding of other cultures, speak other languages fluently and appreciate other histories.
A global school with faculty and campuses in all the world’s largest cultures will have a huge virtually unique advantage in achieving these new educational requirements. Existing in and working with another culture is the best way to learn about it.
Imagine that the chair of Universal One’s Spanish language studies is located at the Universal One campus in Barcelona or Mexico City. She helps to recruit Spanish teachers for Universal One schools all over the world; selects the best Spanish software; conducts professional development/training programs for Spanish teachers; and runs the immersion programs in Madrid and Mexico City in which many Universal One students from around the world will participate.
Imagine that a student in Middle and High School spends – during a portion of several summers – a number of six week to eight week periods studying at campuses in Buenos Aires, Paris, Delhi and Johannesburg. Imagine that in High School that student deepens his grasp of the Mandarin he has been studying since pre-kindergarten by spending a full semester at Universal One’s campus in Beijing. That amounts to 12-15 months on five different continents before graduation from High School. Admissions offices of top colleges and universities appreciate high school students who have real international experience versus tourism with an educational label, typically in Western Europe. Although Universal One will not require such foreign study, the hundreds of parents and students with whom Universal One’s leaders have spoken have consistently seen great potential value in such a program.
Imagine that Universal One encourages all teachers to spend a year overseas working at another Universal One campus. Such exposure ensures that each campus is both infused with faculty from abroad, and faculty who have worked abroad. Imagine that a career opportunity requires a family to move from New York to Hong Kong or London for two to four years in order to gain important international experience. Rather than going through the trauma of finding a new school, the children would be automatically admitted to Universal One in the new city, as well as back at the original campus upon return. No need to “miss a beat” because the educational design is completely consistent from campus to campus.
These are just four aspects of how Universal One International Academy is going to serve students and families in important new ways. Let 2014 be the year your son or daughter embarks on their journey.