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Cultural Exchange

GEMS Education Connections

GEMS World Academy Chicago is one of four World Academies in the GEMS Education global network of schools. In keeping with our core value of global citizenship, we leverage our relationship with overseas GEMS schools to provide authentic learning experiences away from school.

The cornerstone of this effort is a developing exchange program with GEMS World Academy Dubai, in which a group of students from one school spends time living with families and studying with peers in the other. 

The program was launched during the 2017–2018 school year, with groups of eighth graders from each school making the exchange. The program is part of a broader GEMS Education initiative called GWA Connect, which provides both teachers and students with opportunities to travel and learn with peers at other World Academies.

Opportunities Through The Years

The Dubai exchange is just one of the travel experiences our students encounter. In our younger grades, students collaborate remotely with peers around the world. As students progress through our program, they travel and immerse in cultures and communities both near and far: in middle school, they participate in an Explore the U.S. series, and high school students can participate in a GEMS World Academy exchange program with peers living and learning in different countries. Recent trips, exchanges, and service projects haven taken students (and in some cases, their families) to Costa Rica, Nepal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Dubai, Silicon Valley, St. Louis, Washington DC, and Indianapolis.

At GEMS, we believe that authentic travel experiences can have a profound impact on a student's worldview, creating the kind of nuanced, empathetic, and problem-solving mindset necessary to become transformative global leaders in the future.

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