On June 23rd, Emma Dollery, a resident of Zambia, will experience her high school graduation in the same way that many teenagers do. There will be the matriculation process and a gleeful celebration full of proud parents. For Emma though, one thing will be drastically different: her graduation is taking place 6,000 kilometers away in Athens, Greece.
Emma isn’t your average high school student. She is one of thirteen teens set to graduate from THINK Global School next month. THINK Global School, or TGS as it is known to its students, offers a new model of education centered around travel and open-minded learning. Each year its students and staff jet around the world to three different countries, enthusiastically embracing the opportunity to live among and learn from the locals.
Although travel plays an important role in THINK Global School’s mission, providing a top-rate educational experience comes first: students enrolled at TGS spend their final two years enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, a demanding curriculum recognized worldwide that prepares its students to be global citizens. As proud as she is of her travels, Emma is equally proud of completing her IB exams.
“They were a set of challenging obstacles, but like anything challenging, they helped me realize my academic potential in the end.”
Unlike short-term study abroad programs which end after a matter of weeks or months, THINK Global School operates on the same school calendar as most international schools: classes begin in September, break for the holidays and wrap up in June. Adding to the sense of normalcy is the fact that the same faculty and support staff accompany the students to each new country, fostering the sense of community and familiarity that you would find at any other high school.
Emma, who has been attending THINK Global School since her 11th grade year, has seen more of the world in two years than most people see in a lifetime. In her first year alone, she crossed India by train, helped build a school in Tanzania, and rolled sushi in Japan.
Since that first year, Emma and her classmates have embarked on a journey that most teens can only dream of: she’s explored volcanoes in New Zealand and studied biology in a Costa Rican rainforest. Along the way, she’s also had the opportunity to interact with a variety of guest speakers, including Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay. Emma also holds the distinction of being elected as THINK Global School’s Student Council secretary.
“Travelling has opened my world. I have grown more in the past two years then in the rest of my life.”
After graduating, Emma’s globetrotting ways will inevitably slow down, at least temporarily. She plans to begin attending New York University in September.