Help your kid grow up global with this list of summer opportunities for global engagement.
Meet Leo. He just turned 19 and is about to begin his first year at the University of Washington.
Just like his dad, Leo loves mathematical problem solving and analyzing the world through a scientific lens.
Unlike his dad, Leo speaks fluent Spanish as well as some Mandarin which he hopes to improve through university study. Under his belt, he has a full year of international travel in China during his gap year between high school and college, as well as certifications from several leadership and cross-cultural communication courses integrated into his elementary and secondary instruction.
He began learning Spanish through immersion in his local public elementary school and Chinese while in high school. He also spent a summer abroad in Beijing through his school’s exchange program which encouraged him to enter the state-funded, one-year internship program in China after graduation.
He was raised a truly Global Child.
If this scenario sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is — for now.
Leo, however, is real; he’s a bubbly and active 2-year-old with unbounded potential to be all of these things and more. But in order for him to reach his full potential, education in the state of Washington has to rise to the occasion.
In 2012, Global Washington’s Global Education Initiative released a report outlining the recommendations for Global Education in Washington State.
Many of these recommendations are encapsulated in the hypothetical scenario above: language learning and cross-cultural education as part of regular instruction, affordable study abroad programs, globally competent teachers with experience abroad and appropriate training, and more (read GlobalWA’s Global Education Paper for details).
This type of education will prepare Leo, and all future globally-minded local leaders in Washington State, for an active and engaged life in the increasingly global world.
How can parents start right now in raising their children to reach their potential and develop a global perspective?
As summer is fast approaching, we’ve listed of some of the global engagement activities that students can get involved in over the summer.
Summer Programs for language and global engagement in Washington State
For elementary school students
- The Northwest School Summer Camp, camp with international guests
- Seattle Public Library offers eight languages for kids to learn and practice: French, Italian, German, Spanish, English, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese and Russian. MUZZY uses ”see and say, listen and learn” methods to pattern the way children learn their first language and features fun and interactive games and lessons.
- Mercer Island Language Immersion camps, mostly grades K-5: Mandarin, Spanish, French starting at around $250
- Alliance Francaise de Seattle summer camps, kids ages 4-10
- Private language learning courses at Seattle Languages
- Low-cost summer classes at the University of Washington-Robinson Center on ecology, critical thinking, physics, and more. Scholarships are available.
- Summer Youth Programs through the UW
- Western Washington University Global Connections- Study interesting topics with students from South Korea. (See also: http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/eesp/youth/wkc/index.html)
- SAMCamp: Seattle Art Museum camp for kids, focusing on art from around the world
- Seattle Public Theater writing and performance courses. Several are geared specially for young girls
- Seattle Parks Dept offers language courses for K-2nd grade in French, Spanish, and Russian
- Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard offers Norwegian dancing for kids
- Young Chefs of Seattle offers week-long ethnic cuisine courses
- Japanese Cultural & Community Center of WA summer camp, kids ages 6-11
- Aikido Summer Camp, kids age 6-15 learn aikido martial arts and other aspects of Japanese culture
- Seattle Center: periodic cultural festivals
- Columbia Basin College: English/Spanish camp, grades 4-6
- Spokane Villa Vista Language Academy summer camps, ages 3-12
- Little House of Different Cultures, French/Spanish language camps in Spokane
For middle and high school students
- US Department of State American Youth Leadership Programs
- STARTALK summer programs:
- Gonzaga University Startalk Program (Chinese language camp)
- University of Washington—Russian in the Sky and in Outer Space (Russian language immersion program)
- One World Now Arabic/Chinese Language & Leadership Camps
- Canoe Island French Camp (Orcas, WA)
- AIDemocracy Global Scholar Global Leadership Program (Washington DC)
- Global Leadership Adventures Teen Volunteer Programs (volunteer abroad in Africa, Asia, & Latin America)
- Global Works Summer Service Adventures
- Lifeworks International Global Community Service
- YMCA Global Teen Leadership Program
- Benjamin Franklin Summer Institutes
- Korea-US Youth Network summer exchange
- National Security Language Initiative for Youth summer programs
- Seattle Languages: before & after school programs, tutoring, language classes
- Global Visionaries Youth Leadership & Summer Guatemala Trip
- Little House of Different Cultures: French/Spanish language camps (Spokane, WA)
Global WA has partnered with The Seattle Globalist to produce “Growing up Global”: a series of articles for parents in the Seattle area seeking internationally-oriented opportunities for their kids.