Students in Dublin City Schools will have a chance for education abroad for the first time this year. Trips are set for spring break and this summer in the district's new global education program that will provide travel opportunities and education from curriculum, service learning, language immersion and leadership.
The global learning component was added to prepare students for competition in a global marketplace, and to learn 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity, said Eydie Schilling, executive director of learning and teaching.
"It's all about being globally minded," she told Dublin Board of Education members.
The board got a crash course in the new offerings during a second reading of the global education course book. A final reading and vote is expected Feb. 10.
The course book limits travel to Dublin City Schools students and staff. A student who just graduated, for example, is not eligible for a trip.
The trips are district sponsored and can cost students anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500, Schilling said.
"It's district sponsored so it allows us to provide more scholarships," Schilling said, adding that an account for fundraising for trips also will be established.
Seven trips have been set for 2014 and trips are being planned for 2015.
A 10-day trip to Athens, Florence and Rome will offer a look into history with stops including the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City and Sistine Chapel.
Schilling said a group of International Baccalaureate students will take a 13-day trip to World War II sites in Europe.
A 12-day trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua will provide language immersion and an eight-day trip to the Dominican Republic will give students a service learning experience.
"They'll be developing baseball fields for a school," Schilling said.
Schilling is leading a nine-day trip to China during spring break. Students will visit landmarks in Shanghai and Beijing and attend a two-day leadership conference on the trip.