Global Village Academies, Colorado

Global Village Academies, Colorado
http://www.globalvillageacademy.org
Courtney Black, Principal, Aurora School

The Global Village Academies are K–8 schools on four campuses, where students are immersed in learning a second or third language: Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, or German.

Study Abroad Program at Global Village Academies 
In middle school (Grades 7 and 8), students have the opportunity to study abroad for a week in the spring. The school switches the language and country each year, and in the past, students have visited China or Costa Rica, depending on the language they are learning. Students are immersed in the local culture, participate in home stays, travel as the locals do, see local schools, and visit tourist spots.

Assignments
At the end of the trip, students present information that they learned while on the trip to their peers and parents.

Criteria for Student Participation
All students who are interested in participating in the trip and are able to raise the funds can participate. Students’ parents pay for the cost of the trip, and students also participate in fundraisers to help pay for the costs. At the end of the trip, they present information that they learned while on the trip to their peers and parents.

Chaperones
Chaperones are teachers in the school.

Program Funding
Students participate in fundraisers both in and out of school in order to have the funds to participate.

Benefits of Participation
The biggest benefit of participating in the program is the positive changes in the students after they have explored the world outside their own city. The majority of participating students have never traveled abroad before, and learning to navigate and understand a culture different from their own is priceless for their education and growth.

Program Challenges
The cost of the program is the biggest challenge, and families may have a difficult time finding the money so that their children can participate. As many fundraisers as possible are held to raise support for students.

Programs Running a Study Abroad Program Will Want to Know
It is important to find as many different sources of funding as possible, including holding fundraisers and working with corporate sponsors. Having a person on staff who serves as the local liaison and works with corporate sponsors on funding would allow more students to participate in the amazing opportunities that study abroad provides.