University Prep is committed to educating our students to be citizens of the world. We do this through a variety of programs that offer opportunities to build cross-cultural relationships, to look beyond our own communities, and to understand our role in the global community through cultural competency.
Global Link is our signature global education program that challenges selected Middle (7th-8th) and Upper School (10-12th) students to experience real life in other parts of the world. Global Link is quite different from a traditional travel program. We focus on relationships rather than destinations and build up the students’ capacity to cultivate and sustain meaningful international connections. Through extensive pre-departure training and a substantive in-country curriculum, students learn the personal and cross-cultural skills needed to immerse themselves in their host communities.
The Middle School Global Link program is a domestic cultural exchange with Santa Fe Prep in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This program offers selected 7th and 8th graders a wonderful opportunity to learn about a new culture, appreciate our national diversity, and gain a better understanding about what it means to be in another community. Global Link Santa Fe features a visit to Seattle from our friends at Santa Fe Prep (mid-March) followed by UPrep's visit to Santa Fe during the first week of spring break (early April).
The Upper School Global Link program is an international cultural immersion experience, with several programs having direct exchange opportunities. Student groups of six to ten grade students are led by two UPrep staff members for about two weeks overseas, and most groups live with host families for the duration of their stay. Currently, Global Link has partnerships and program sites in Botswana, India, Japan, Lithuania, Nepal, and Samoa.
As the face of University Prep overseas, all Global Link students practice their ambassadorial skills by highlighting their individuality and demonstrating their collective respect for and ongoing curiosity about our multicultural world. Global Link also provides opportunities for students to bring that world back home. Upon their return, students share their experiences with University Prep and the Seattle-area community through projects and presentations.
It’s really fun to wake up in a whole new place without my parents and with all these new friends.” Alana, eighth grade, GL: Santa Fe
Taste the world! Make new friends! Try everything!” Samia, eleventh grade, GL: India
Hosting International Students
University Prep invites a small number of international exchange students for full-time enrollment. We have hosted students from all over the world, most recently from Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, and Tunisia. We also regularly host short-term visitors. In the past couple of years, students from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, India, Japan, and Lithuania have visited our campus. Our community is always eager to welcome new global citizens and build international relationships.
Hosting gives UPrep families the chance to show off Seattle, to be immersed in the UPrep culture, and to experience everyday life in the United States. Hosting and welcoming visitors and exchange students is an absolutely essential part of UPrep’s approach to global programs. And it is often the most rewarding and most impactful for students during their time at UPrep.
Each year, two international students join us through exchange programs, fully participating in the life of the school and building relationships. Recent international students have come from Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Moldova, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Tunisia.
For students interested in pursuing education opportunities beyond UPrep, Upper School sophomores and juniors can receive credit toward graduation through semester or year-long accredited study abroad or internationally-focused programs. Semesters Away are intensive experiences and require students to dig deep, think differently, collaborate with others, and apply their knowledge to the real world.
Recently, UPrep students have studied away at schools such as the School for Ethics and Global Leadership (Washington, D.C.), the Oxbow School (Napa, CA), Alexander Muss High School (Israel), the Travelling School (South America) and the High Mountain Institute (Leadville, CO). These students return to UPrep with a deeper sense of their place in the world and their ability to change it. Here are some additional resources and links for students thinking about traveling. All interested students are able to apply for tuition remission to support such study away experiences.
For Representatives from Off-Campus Educational Programs
If you represent a semester away program and are interested in sharing information about your program with high school students at University Prep, please complete this informational form. If you offer a summer program, a summer work opportunity, or a gap year program, please use the same link to provide us with information about the opportunity.
We will be in touch after receiving your form with additional information and any follow-up questions. University Prep collaborates with semester away programs with some of the following characteristics:
- Philosophy congruent with University Prep’s mission and values
- Coursework and calendar compatible with University Prep’s course of study
- Commitment to and availability of financial aid
- Inclusive enrollment, welcoming students of all races, creeds, gender identities, sexualities, political orientations, and national origins
- Ability to demonstrate successful reintegration for students returning to their sending school
For more information about University Prep’s Global Education programs, contact:
Brian Gonzales, Director of Global Programs firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina Taylor, Associate Director of Global Programs email@example.com