THINK Global School

<p>I really like the idea of the THINK Global School (traveling around the world during the school year, and using the world as your classroom), but I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with it.</p>

<p>There are several threads already on this topic. Here they are below:</p>

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<p>I ended up posting this on one of the older threads but will repost here: </p>

<p>Every school has to start somewhere - but the school is unaccredited and in its infancy. I think it's telling that Bluedot didn't come back with any specific information over the past year. There are so many scams these days I would be loathe to place my children with adults I couldn't verify, in a school where the curriculum wasn't advanced.</p>

<p>It's a stretch to send a child to a known boarding school. Sending one around the world with total strangers in a new organization that can't yet be vetted means being a guinea pig.</p>

<p>Nice concept - tempting, intriguing - but not sure it's ready for prime time until it works it's kinks out and gets a stronger faculty line-up. 10 million dollars in an endowment isn't a lot of money to bank even if the majority of students are full pays. Salaries, benefits, supplies (laptops, phones,etc) and facilities rentals would eat up the bulk of that.</p>

<p>Having said that - my experience with School Year Abroad which does the same thing on a lesser scale (I.e. one country instead of many) has been a gem. There is significant travel built into the tuition for less than half the price, the students are full immersion, and the program is vetted and funded by the top boarding schools. </p>

<p>You DO NOT have to be a boarding school student to apply: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Might be a good alternative for qualified students who don't get a BS spot. The college counselors stay in touch with your home school throughout the year and students who are admitted are sometimes grandfathered in if they want to do a second year in a different country while still getting AP and honors coursework.</p>

<p>Also, for those who are in enrolled in a BS (or going) -- the bonus is that if the BS school is in the consortium, you may be eligible for additional FA support/resources if you're accepted.</p>

<p>There is a program in Canada that I don't think has an equivalent here and is called MEI Academy. One of my nieces did her final semester of HS this way and had the most amazing experience. It's basically a traveling classroom but either for a semester or 1 year. There were a few US kids on her semester and their respective schools had recognized/accepted the credits.</p>

<p>Another alternative is United World Colleges. UWC</a> | UWC If I were in the market for an international boarding school experience, I'd opt to apply for one of the United World Colleges, or investigate established schools with more than 25 students.</p>

<p>I'm glad to see that THINK has chosen the IB model.</p>

<p>On the other hand, $125,000 is a very stiff price for the experience. It's not as if international experiences are hard to find these days. We're beginning the college search process, and it's remarkable that all the colleges offer some sort of opportunity for international study.</p>

<p>Thanks for the links, starkali.</p>

<p>I'm not absolutely certain that I want to apply, but the concept is very intriguing, especially for someone like me, who likes to travel. The IB model is definitely a huge plus as well.</p>

<p>I know that they offer a lot of scholarships to help offset the cost, but $125,000 is still a lot of money.</p>

<p>I am also looking into UWC, but I'm not quite as excited about it as TGS.</p>

<p>The School Year Abroad sounds interesting. I'll definitely look into it. Thanks!</p>

<p>Hi barcelonagirl95 et al. Glad to hear the idea of TGS intrigues you! I totally encourage you to check us out further. You can also check out our Facebook page and blog (link on our website) and hear directly from real TGS students what their thoughts are.</p>

<p>Don't let the cost scare you off. We are looking for solid students with a desire to see the world while learning and our scholarship program allows us to select students based on admissions criteria other than one's ability to pay. It's always worth applying and it's certainly not too late for Fall 2012. </p>

<p>If any of you have questions, feel free to reach out to me directly (mhourahine at thinkglobalschool dot org). I have been involved with TGS since it's inception. I would be happy to answer any questions or connect you with the right person. </p>

<p>Ultimately we may not be the right school for everyone but I can assure you that we're a bona fide school that cares deeply about the world, our students and their future success. </p>

<p>Mike Hourahine
Head of Technology at THINK Global School
mhourahine at thinkglobalschool dot org</p>


<p>What we - as parents - are asking is whether the school is accredited, and whether those credits hold weight when the student returns home. I've sent one child on a program to Japan. I have another in Europe. I'm not adverse to the concept of students studying abroad and traveling extensively. I also know every school in the world started with a "year" one and probably some doubts from outsiders. But we're all suspicious when posts touting the benefits of Think Global come from individuals who post once to encourage students to apply then the individual disappears. The photos look wonderful and the website has evolved, but these days of social media also means a lot can be faked as well. You're asking parents to send children to a school that moves throughout the year (again an intriguing concept) with little to go on in terms of vetting the people who will be caring for, and teaching, their children. </p>

<p>Some specifics would go a long way to raising the school's credibility.</p>

<p>ExieMITAlum - I understand completely. I'm pretty skeptically-minded myself (especially with my own kids) so I don't blame you at all. I also know I'm very new to this forum. I just came across this post and felt compelled to jump in. I hope you didn't mind.</p>

<p>We're definitely a new school and have the new school growing pains. No arguments there. As for specifics, we're trying to make our website as transparent as possible - which is updated very regularly. We are very far along with our accreditation with WASC and authorization as an IB World School. We hope to have some positive and concrete announcements there very soon. For any accreditation to be effective, it takes time to put a school through the process. Our intention is certainly to structure things so that credits are transferrable to as many education systems as possible.</p>

<p>For the record, I'm not asking parents to send their children... I'm asking them if they are interested to check us out, contact us from the website, post on Facebook, call the phone number on the admissions page - they can even call me at 415-230-0537 :) - and fire off all the questions they wish. Hopefully they'll be pleasantly surprised at the dedication of the people they meet and the programs we've put in place.</p>

<p>Mike - </p>

<p>Without actually reviving this older</a> thread about TGS, do you think you could read through it and perhaps respond to some of the more substantive concerns here? The concerns ranged from quality of instruction to safety issues . . . well, you'll see for yourself.</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>dodgersmom - Thanks. I read through that thread. Very interesting to see the outside perspective.</p>

<p>Some of those concerns were certainly valid at the time and others were, frankly, somewhat uninformed or taking a negative viewpoint. Perhaps, we haven't always done the best job of communicating exactly what we're up to and we're working to change that. Like it was mentioned earlier, every school has to start somewhere. We're not going to be for everyone but I'm trying to encourage those who are intrigued but skeptical to reach out and start a dialogue with us to get the facts.</p>

<p>As for some of the valid concerns, yes, we've had our share of staff turnover - which is to be expected in any startup and we learned a great deal as an organization from our first year's experience. However, despite any challenges we may have had, 13 of the 15 students who were accepted the first year returned. To me, that speaks volumes more than anything.</p>

<p>Moving forward, if you review our website now, you'll see that many of the valid concerns that were raised in that thread have been addressed. In particular, look at our faculty, staff, curriculum and admissions pages. We're definitely working on building out this information more so if there any questions that aren't sufficiently answered. Let us know... we're always ready for questions!</p>

<p>With regards to safety & supervision: This is of the utmost concern to us. We have a close to a 2:1 student-onsite staff ratio. We have 3 full time staff members dedicate to Residential Life (yes, this year all are college graduates ;) ) plus all faculty have residential life duties. Students are very closely supervised and a significant amount of prepwork in each country is done to ensure that we have quick access to local hospitals & medical care. In every location we also hire a host city specialist who helps to establish safety protocols. This is just a start in how we approach keep our students safe where-ever they go. </p>

<p>As for the cost, we try to say it in as many ways as we can: it's very expensive to do what we're doing in the way that we're doing it but we are well funded and offer significant scholarships.</p>

<p>I hope members of this forum understand, I'm not trying to "sell" the school here. I'm not in PR and not in the Admissions department. I've spent nearly 3 three years working with some very dedicated people to make TGS a reality and I wanted to help set the record straight somewhat. :)</p>

<p>Come, check out our website, talk to us and then decide for yourself. Happy school hunting!</p>


<p>Thanks for responding. It's helpful to have someone from the school address concerns here. It's too easy for a new venture to go belly up leaving people stranded. But as I said, every school started with a "first year." Hope to hear more about the school as it grows.</p>

<p>Mr. Hourahine,</p>

<p>Thank you so much for responding! That really helps a lot. My parents have a lot more reservations about the school than I do. Mainly the steadiness and quality of the education (like, how well qualified the teachers are, and how classes are divided up into levels, etc) and that the parents are responsible for transportation. My main concern is with the classes as well. I'm fairly advanced in my classes, and I'm not sure how I'd feel about having to redo subjects that I've already taken (as opposed to continuing from where I am right now).</p>

<p>Also, do you have any accommodations for students who are already fluent in Spanish?</p>


<p>barcelonagirl95 - Probably best that you connect with Lily (admissions at thinkglobalschool dot org), our admissions director, to get some of your specific questions answered and discuss any specific accommodations.</p>

<p>For travel, families are responsible for flights to and from the host city at the start and end of each trimester only. All other expenses within the trimester are covered (accommodations, food, academic resources, transportation to activities within the countries, etc).</p>