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Pilot Program Brings Study Abroad Opportunities to Public School Students

Pilot Program Brings Study Abroad Opportunities to Public School Students

Who says learning through study abroad opportunities has to be reserved for higher education students?

Travel provider Rustic Pathways has announced a partnership with Thrival Academies to create a network of public high schools throughout the U.S. that offer study abroad opportunities as part of their curriculum.

With the ultimate goal of "providing study abroad opportunities to 50,000 diverse, globally competent, future leaders by 2025,” Rustic Pathways and Thrival Academies are beginning their work through a pilot program in coordination with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).

This year, 14 students from OUSD will fulfill independent studies and earn credits while studying abroad in Thailand for three months. Next year, the district hopes to send 100 students on similar journeys.

Through the international travel opportunities, Rustic Pathways and Thrival Academies leaders hope to provide all  students with a newfound global awareness while developing critical-thinking skill sets.

"Unfortunately, until now, the reality has been that only upper-income students have had access to international study. Through this partnership, we are able to send students to Thailand to engage in a rigorous academic program with the added benefit of deep cultural immersion, for the same cost of sending them to school in Oakland,” said Chris Stakich, CEO of Rustic Pathways in a statement.

"For this reason, we are thrilled to partner with Thrival Academies to launch our flagship program, and to bring new learning opportunities to students regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

The commitment to providing all students with global travel is backed by big names such as the NewSchools Venture Fund (backed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg), the Mind Trust and Educate78.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

11/1/2016

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