Experiential Equity Is WISE

POSTED BY The Wellington School ON February 8, 2018 IN ,


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” ~ Mark Twain

The proposed Wellington International Student Experience, or WISE, creates opportunities for students to engage in long-term global projects and travel to an international destination at no additional cost to tuition. The benefits of students exploring a world beyond their home country are vast, with growth in resilience and problem solving, while building empathy and respect for different cultures. Increasing globalization has made the development of these skills critical for success in college and beyond.

“For travel to be truly impactful, it needs to go beyond a superficial tourist adventure,” Assistant Head of School and Head of Upper School Dr. Jeff Terwin said of the pilot program. “Instead it should involve significant connections with local cultures and customs. It is about students learning in the world, rather than about the world.”

Wellington’s commitment to experiential equity, or creating a diverse educational environment for every student, extends to providing equal access to all learning activities deemed relevant and important, without incurring extra costs or fees for families. 

“Worthwhile travel should both challenge and excite, and it will, whether you like it or not, open your eyes, mind, and heart to a new perspective on different cultures, places, and people,” Terwin said. “For a high school student, it has the power to change their perspective forever.

WISE Program Highlights
10th Grade
Students develop an understanding of the logistical and intellectual preparation involved in successful global travel, build intercultural communication skills, and investigate contemporary global issues and how they connect to local realities.

11th Grade
Build group fellowship, develop projects with faculty mentors and community partners, and travel. 

12th Grade
Culmination and presentation of projects.

Areas of Investigation

  • Stewardship and sustainability
  • Human rights and conflict prevention
  • Identity, interculturality, and well-being
  • Innovative and social entrepreneurship

Features and Outcomes

  • Meaningful travel experience to all students during their time at Wellington at no cost beyond tuition.
  • Long-term interdisciplinary project with ongoing faculty mentorship and interaction with community partners in Columbus and abroad.
  • Broaden perspective, enhance self-confidence, develop sense of personal and collective responsibility for ethical leadership.

Proposed Travel Programs for 2020
Options for the junior year travel experience and ongoing project themes include investigations of creativity and wellness, marine biology, literary translation, sustainability, the history of the slave trade, and international business, in diverse locations such as Scandinavia, Costa Rica, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and Ecuador where we have a partnership with the nonprofit Tandana Foundation, founded by a Wellington alumna.

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