Lake Forest Academy places the utmost importance on helping our students become better global citizens. Cultivating a deeper sense of global awareness and understanding is rooted throughout our curriculum. Whether in the classroom, on service trips, traveling with a class, or spending a year abroad, LFA students are encouraged to widen their horizons both figuratively and literally. Learn more about the many opportunities our students have to expand their global horizons by using the left-hand navigation menu.
Global Learning Must Be Intentional
It implies a purposeful, educational environment in which our students learn to engage with the world from multiple perspectives with empathy.
Capabilities essential to global citizenship: critical self-examination and examination of one’s own traditions, thinking as a citizen of the world, and exercising a “narrative imagination” that allows one to see the world through the eyes of others.
the ability to be an intelligent reader of another person's story
Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
The cohort design is at the heart of the Global Concentration and is what makes it unique. Students are part of a dynamic, student-driven cohort for both years of the program. This allows students to collaborate, developing their skills and delving into a variety of topics. The cohort is designed to be purposeful, reflective, interdisciplinary and collaborative.
Global concentration students meet three times a cycle, and receive an elective half-credit each year, and a full elective credit after the two-year cohort.
All members of the concentration must leave campus, be it virtually, philosophically, or physically! Students will work with a group outside the LFA community in order to not only better understand themselves, but also how to interact with others effectively and purposefully.
2024 will mark the first Global Capstone class curricular trip, to Costa Rica, during spring break.
Engagement is a top priority of the concentration. Students will explore a variety of topics through the lenses of identity, inquiry, communication, and collaboration. Students will find ways to stay connected and strive to form action plans with a purpose.
In 2023 capstone students reached out to LFA alumni while they worked on their projects, in which they conducted interviews with alumni who are in related fields, and then analyzed the interviews to be used as part of their research in the global issues that their capstone projects tackle.
The Capstone Celebration takes place in April of the second year of the concentration. It is the culmination of two years of dedicated work that is shared within the wider LFA community. Students will present their findings, progress, and share their personal growth in a variety of creative and thought-provoking ways!
Annually, nearly 25% of LFA students are offered the chance to travel with their teachers. Students are only responsible to pay for travel insurance, passports, visas, and any required vaccinations, depending on the destination. Past trips have included destinations to Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Morocco, Navajo Nation in the Southwest, New York City, Olympic National Park in Washington state, Panama, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
School Year Abroad (SYA), founded in 1964, has year-long, academic programs in China, France, Italy, and Spain. They also offer five-week summer homestay programs. As a member school, LFA clearly demonstrates its commitment to global education. Our students, who can participate over the summer or during their sophomore, junior, or senior year, improve not only their language skills, but also their ability to adapt and thrive both educationally and personally in another culture. Interested students and families should contact Tameka Carter, our SYA Coordinator at LFA.
School Year Abroad
This program, founded in 1964, is sponsored by the three charter schools of Exeter, Andover, and St. Paul's. The heads of these three schools serve as permanent members of SYA's board of trustees. In addition to these three charter schools; SYA's association includes a consortium of other top U.S. independent schools that have demonstrated a strong commitment to foreign and classical language instruction as well as international education. Admission to these programs is competitive.
The programs are conducted during the school year in Beijing (China), Rennes (France), Viterbo (Italy), and Zaragoza (Spain). Its courses have been fully accredited by LFA and other schools within the consortium. The purpose of these programs is for students to participate in a full academic year as well as to reap the benefits of living in a foreign culture while achieving a level of real fluency or skills virtually impossible to attain at their home schools. Since some of LFA's graduation requirements (e.g., US History or science) cannot be fulfilled in Beijing, Rennes, Viterbo, or Zaragoza, interested students should develop as early as possible a long-range plan of studies that will assure their eligibility.
In each program, students live with host families and participate fully in their lives. They join athletic and cultural organizations with their Chinese, French, Italian, or Spanish counterparts and travel both on several school-sponsored trips as well as independently. Academically, each student pursues a minimum of five courses selected from a curriculum especially designed for School Year Abroad students. Standard junior and senior English and mathematics courses are taught in English, generally by teachers from the charter or member schools. Subjects such as literature, language, history, civilization, and art history are taught in the target language by native instructors. The classes are rigorous and reflect the standards of the sponsoring schools. All College Board examinations are offered.
The programs in France, Italy, and Spain are designed for students going into their sophomore, junior or senior year who have completed two years of French, Latin, or Spanish. The program in China is for students also going into their junior or senior year, but no previous study of Mandarin is necessary for students who wish to spend their junior, senior or post-graduate year in Beijing. Each of these programs offers a full year of residence and study in the respective country. The program in China offers the option of a fall term as well. The cost of each program does not differ significantly from the cost of a year as a boarder at LFA. Financial aid is available. Catalogs and further information on application to the program may be obtained from our SYA coordinator, Ms. Carter.