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Sweden to host first Think Global School trimester

Technology will power a new traveling high school.

The school opens this fall enrolling students in ninth grade. Each year following that, another grade will be added until there are four classes. The students will engage in a rigorous academic program that adheres to both the International Baccalaureate program and U.S. curriculum standards. The curriculum integrates the histories, geographies, languages, ideas, current events and people of each host city. The non-profit high school teaches all in English and has no religious or political affiliations. Organizers hope the student body will reflect the global nature of the school.

Eleven students out of a class of 15 have been accepted so far for the the school's first year. All 11 are receiving some form of financial assistance.

“We strongly believe that coming from an underprivileged background should not deny anyone the chance to get into TGS. We will focus on academic skills, desire to travel and the global citizenship potential," said TGS Project Director Janice Cheng. "We want kids who truly want to come to TGS to have that opportunity to be a part of it, so we will do our best to make it work for them."

Philanthropists Harry and Joann McPike provided the school's start-up funding. In the future, the school will conduct its own fundraising efforts, Cheng said.

”Think Global School came from the vision of our founders, Joann and Harry McPike. They saw a real need for a global school that could take students from many different nations and bring them together as a group to explore the world,” Cheng said.

The McPikes searched the globe for a school to send their own son to when he reached ninth grade. The suggestion to homeschool him so they could continue traveling gave them the idea to start an entire school of children traveling the world.

The students will be visited by expert lecturers from the host cities and the lectures will stream live as webinars and be downloadable for partner classrooms. At the end of each school year the students will have an individual digital portfolio chronicling their academic achievements and extracurricular experiences.

"Our host school in each city will not only provide classroom space, the use of science labs and other special rooms and library, but we will also engage in activities together. We may take lunch together, join the host school instructional sports, go on field trips together and attend special guest lectures,” Cheng said. “The goal of this activity integration is to allow both students and teachers to interact and build lifelong relationships through working closely together.”

Freshmen activities outside the classroom will include dining on dim sum in Hong Kong, scuba diving the endangered Great Barrier Reef in Australia and visiting ecologically sustainable wind farms in Sweden.

“Ever since I was little, I have wanted to travel the world and explore other cultures. I believe Think Global School is a perfect opportunity to do that,” said one of the students who will enroll when TGS opens this September in Stockholm, via email. TGS will not announce the students’ identities until later this year, citing security.