Benefits of Semester and Semi-Semester Programs

According to a study by the Institute for the International Education of Students, longer term study abroad programs yield more significant academic benefits, cultural sensitivity and personal growth benefits than 1-2 week global tours. “Programs of at least six weeks in duration can also be enormously successful in producing important academic, inter- and intra-personal, career, and intercultural development outcomes.”

However, rigorous curriculum requirements for college-bound students mean that most kids need to delay their graduation date if they choose to participate in foreign exchange programs. In partnership with online education providers, the Global Green School is offering an 8 week “semi-semester” cultural immersion program based in Pisac, Peru. By taking online classes, high school students are able to keep pace with their peers. 

These are some of the benefits students can expect from the Global Green School high school study abroad program:

1) Develop Resilience

According to this article in “Forbes Magazine”, grit is the strongest indicator of success. More than economic background, IQ or even talent, resilience in the face of adversity leads to positive long-term personal and professional outcomes. Travel is a series of mini-challenges – opportunities to get kids outside of their comfort zone through grit-building adventures! 

2) Improve Language Skills

The world becomes a classroom as students transition from grammatical aspects of learning a foreign language to real-world scenarios. The practical application of language provides a sense of purpose in language acquisition. 

3) Develop Cultural Sensitivity

Travel makes us aware of our cultural bias. A child who is exposed to multiple cultures expands his understanding of what it means to be human and views his own culture in a new way. Travel often has a lasting impact on a child’s world-view.

4) Experience New Things

New foods, new interests, new passions and pursuits – These are the fruits of the labor of travel. Travel provides an opportunity for kids to shake the dice and roll again, offering fresh outcomes that would not have been possible without stepping outside their comfort zones. 

5) Gain Appreciation

Travel, especially travel to a 3rd world country, reminds students of what it means to live in a 1st world country. Things we take for granted – hot water for showers, heat, air conditioning, reliable internet, clean water, plentiful food, etc. – are luxuries in 3rd world countries.

6) Make a Difference

When a kid takes the initiative to volunteer, their effort is the currency and personal satisfaction is their reward. These transformational experiences transcend culture and language. Through volunteering, kids have the rare opportunity to discover that profound moment when the giver becomes the receiver and the receiver becomes the giver. 

7) Shift Perspectives

Travel offers space to make decisions from a new vantage point. High school students often feel ill-equipped to make critical life decisions. “Where should I go to school?” “What career do I want to pursue?” “What will I contribute in this world?” Travel lifts the weight of these decisions, providing a new-found sense of clarity and purpose.

8) Make New Friends

Friendships developed abroad with often result in lasting, meaningful, lifelong relationships. Shared memories are heightened when kids work together to overcome challenges. They  experience an exhilarating sense of accomplishment and shared adventure.

9) Develop Self-Confidence

Travel helps kids mature and grow. It develops their confidence and independence. 

10) Expand Academic and Career Opportunities 

Academic institutions and employers are well-aware of the fact that travel creates a confident, well-rounded individual. 

The March-April 2020 Global Green School 8 week semi-semester study abroad program offers one additional benefit that is entirely unique. Our team will have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on a global scale by helping to eliminate single use plastics at Machu Picchu. Each year, Machu Picchu receives 1.5 million visitors. In December 2018, the Peruvian government banned single use plastics at Machu Picchu. But the ban has had limited effect due to logistics in moving tourists away from single use plastics. Our Global Green School team will be part of the solution by providing Grayl water filters to guides at Machu Picchu.

If you know of a highly motivated high school student who would be interested in joining our team, please contact us.

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