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THINK Global School

How can learning be transformed by taking students into the world?

THINK Global School is the world’s first traveling high school. Through its innovative Changemaker Curriculum, student gain firsthand experiences of the world through a combination of place-based and project-based learning. Each school year, students at THINK Global School live and learn in four different countries and participate in projects relevant to the locations they find themselves in.

HundrED 2020


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2020

HundrED 2019

HundrED 2018

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Target group
April 2022
Incorporating THINK Global School’s innovative pedagogies doesn’t require a plane or passport; rather, students can find a world of learning possibilities in their own backyard.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

THINK Global School (TGS) was launched as a way for students to learn in the world, rather than just about it. Students travel to four countries per year, where they learn about relevant issues from local experts in the community.

Through their TGS education, students develop empathy for the communities they visit and the soft and hard skills necessary to enact meaningful change in the world.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Through travel, students at TGS experience real-world issues firsthand and interact closely with the communities they immerse themselves within.

Each eight-week term is held in a different country, so students regularly learn in the world rather than about it. Students meet with local experts, guest speakers, and community members as they engage in projects centered around their surroundings.

These firsthand experiences are integral to the TGS experience, as they breed empathy and cultivate a deep understanding of peoples, cultures, and surroundings. Better yet, they help develop the skills necessary to create change in the future.

The Hope Survey is administered bi-annually to measure student satisfaction and success. The results have been astounding, with students reporting high satisfaction regarding engagement, belongingness, autonomy, goal orientation, hope, and academic press. Parents are also surveyed each year to measure their satisfaction with their child's education.

How has it been spreading?

For 2020-21, TGS transitioned to a fully remote model with great success. Students continued working on project modules with the service element shifting to their home communities. We returned to our traveling model for 2021-22 with a 94% re-enrollment rate. Both cohorts visited the UAE for a term, with projects based around the 2020 World Expo.

For the last six years, TGS has maintained a 100% graduation rate and a matriculation rate in the nineties. Our graduates now work in all manner of fields, companies, and organizations.

Moving forward, we are excited about the launch of the THINK Global School Professional Development Center. This will increase our impact exponentially by providing a way for educators worldwide to learn our innovative practices both in-person and remotely.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Prospective students can apply to THINK Global School by filling out the inquiry form on the school website. Applications are currently open for the 2023-24 school year and beyond. The deadline for all 2023-24 applications to be turned in is January 1st, 2023.

Educators can learn more about job openings on our employment page.

All other inquiries:

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


There is only so much that can be learned within the four walls of a classroom, where teachers are largely reliant on lectures, textbooks, and internet materials. THINK Global School believes that engaging in place-based learning and allowing students to engage directly with a wide range of cultures, peoples, and
artefacts is the key to a global education.


Place-based learning allows students to use all five senses in their learning and visits to sombre sites like Srebrenica in Bosnia allows them to converse directly with those affected by tragedy, and as THINK Global Schools has found, these encounters can shape our students lives in a significant way, often motivating them to create meaningful change in the affected places.


While the travel aspect may be problematic for many schools and especially the younger grades, the innovation technique can be used at all levels, scale and scope are age dependant. The approach is being used, to various degrees, by a range of schools worldwide.

Implementation steps

No one expects the classroom teacher/administrator to vault into the intensive school reform design that characterizes THINK Global School. Yet it issurprising how little teachers, administrators, and students know about the communities that surround the four walls of their school.

We know as educators and citizens that the problems facing our communities may be local in effect, but stem from global issues. It is imperative that the institution of education takes an active role in solving these problems through real-time application. Our neighborhoods, communities, states, and countries desperately need the creative energy of the young people entrusted to our care, yet we provide very little opportunity for our kids to take an active role in making change.

“Creative neighborhood leaders across the country have begun to recognize this hard truth, and have shifted their practices accordingly. They are discovering that wherever there are effective community development efforts, those efforts are based upon an understanding, or map, of the community's assets, capacities and abilities.”

Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets," by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight.

Pre-experience research
Understanding your community

Before walking out the door of your school you need to understand the communities your students will be interacting with as they design and complete projects and field experiences.

Begin by mapping the assets of your community. Use the attached resource tool to help you create such a map. I recommend using a mind mapping tool to record your findings. At TGS we use MindMeister.

Size and scope determine the length of the project. Advice: Start small! At THINK Global School, due to the logistics of travel, implementation time can run into the months as we scout locations, make contacts with experts, and attend to other logistical needs. But as mentioned, these projects can be scaled to fit the needs of any community, and implementation times will differ greatly by the size and scope of the project. Some schools might need one month, others one week.

The Task
Now that you have completed the asset mapping of your community, begin with this driving question: How can we implement a field experience to explore a small piece of our community in depth?

Select learning targets (standards) you want the students to master after completion of the experience. The longer the experience the more targets you can incorporate. If you’re feeling collaborative, partner with a colleague whodoesn’t teach in your subject area. You’ll be using our Project-Based Learning Template for planning purposes. The document has all the links and resources with a place for your creativity to run wild.

b. Decide on a Summative Assessment: See theseAssessment Resource documentsfor guidance and ideas. Here is a great external link for Assessment Ideas.

c. IMPORTANT NOTE: The above documents and links are for the use of planning day projects. For the scope of this tool kit, we limited field experiences to those where students go home at the end of the school day. These​ ​concepts​ ​are​ ​scalable​ ​for​ ​all​ ​ages​ ​of​ ​students.​

NOTE: Adding overnight/travel elements brings a whole list of planning areas and concerns/considerations. We recommend partnering with experienced professionals if you want to add that element to your school day. Feel free to contact us at TGS if you need further guidance.

Helpful hints to make the transition to a THINK Global Schools model

Be open to the idea that as a teacher you don’t have all the answers.

b. Always start small and then scale up.

c. When it is feasible, allow students to take the lead: the same planning documents can be given to students to have them plan their own projects. As mentioned before, at TGS the Changemaker Curriculum requires students to develop 40% of their own learning guided by their advisors.

d. Let your students voices/passions drive the activity.

Other Informational Links:
a. Overview of TGS
b. How use Technology at TGS. TGS is an Apple Distinguished School

c. Teacher Designed Module Catalogue

Spread of the innovation

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