Frequently Asked Questions

List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. Who is eligible to apply for the Global Studies Certificate program?

    A. Grade 8, 9, and 10 students who are looking for ways to challenge themselves to step beyond their comfort zone and engage with people of another culture may enroll in the Global Studies Certificate program.
  • Q. Does a Global Studies student receive a different diploma?

    A. No. Students receive a Global Studies Certificate at graduation if they fulfill the program requirements. Global Studies Certificate students accumulate points in four domains. The requirement is to earn 1,000 points (200 points minimum in each domain, plus 200 floating points that can be accumulated in any of the four domains and linked to a student’s specific interest or passion).
  • Q. Who will guide me through the Global Studies program?

    A. A Global Studies Certificate Program Coordinator will guide each Global Studies student through the program. The Global Studies coordinator will collaborate with the student’s academic advisor to encourage exploration and make suggestions for ways to earn points in the various domains. 
  • Q. Is parental approval required in order to apply?

    A. Yes, a parent signature is required on the enrollment form.
  • Q. When and how do I enroll?

    A. Students may enroll in the program as early as the third trimester of Grade 8; Grade 9 and 10 students may enroll at any time.

    An enrollment form is available in the Global Studies office, or can be downloaded from the Global Studies resource board in MySewickley. Complete the form and return it to the GS Office, located in the Senior School.
  • Q. What type of international experience is expected/required?

    A. Global Studies students are expected to plan strategically how they will accumulate points in the Cultural Engagement and Global Action categories. Participating in an exchange program, hosting an international student, and joining a service trip are all examples of the kinds of experiences that can earn points. Students are encouraged to think creatively about how their travel experience(s) can both broaden and deepen their global perspective. All travel experiences are announced and promoted starting with the Travel Fair in September of each school year.
  • Q. What Sewickley Academy travel experiences are planned for the next two years?

    A. Sewickley Academy offers a rotating schedule of exchanges to countries including England, Spain, China, and Australia. Each exchange is unique. Our partner schools in cities as varied as Barcelona, Lyon, and Changsha provide opportunities to travel, make lifelong friends through a home stay experience, and attend school side by side with a host sibling. Faculty-led trips vary from year to year. The details are updated on the GS Resource page and on the SA website.
  • Q. How can I find a travel experience that will help me meet the requirements?

    A. Students may join one of the existing SA-sponsored trips led by faculty, or design a travel experience of their own. Students planning their own travel should consult with the Global Studies Office to determine whether or not a proposed trip will meet the requirements, and how many points and in which domains could be awarded.
  • Q. Is financial aid available for travel as part of the GS program?

    A. Financial aid is available to qualified candidates through the Global Studies Office. Families who wish to be considered for financial aid for travel should be prepared to share financial information with the school. Confidentiality is maintained during this process. Students who qualify may receive aid for one trip during the Middle School years and one trip during the Senior School years. Families need to plan strategically to maximize a student’s travel options in a way that will help the student to accomplish the requirements of the certificate program.
  • Q. Is there a GPA requirement associated with the Global Studies Certificate program?

    A. There is no GPA requirement, but students should be in good academic standing and be able to manage the increased demands that will come as a result of participation in the program.
  • Q. I'm a junior now. Can I enroll in the program?

    A. Unfortunately, the window for enrollment in the program closes at the end of the sophomore year after classes have been scheduled for the junior year. Rising seniors do not have enough time to accumulate 1,000 points.
  • Q. I love languages! Is there a way to earn points by taking more language courses?

    A. Yes! The Global Studies Office believes that language study is central to becoming a global citizen and as such, has created an entire Language Study domain. You will receive 60 points for each of the first three years you study a language in the Senior School (regardless of level), and 90 points for the fourth year of ANY language, since that goes above and beyond the graduation requirement of three years. Additionally, 90 points will be awarded for each year of a second world language.
  • Q. My family has planned a trip abroad this summer. Will this count for Global Studies points?

    A. With appropriate documentation (i.e., artifacts, Cultural Dispatch Form), a maximum of 50 Cultural Engagement points may be awarded for one family trip over the course of the SA Senior School career, starting with the summer following Grade 8. Global Action points will be counted at 3 points/service hour.
  • Q. What is an example of a Global Action project?

    A. A student who is studying Spanish and takes a literature class in Spanish and a history course about Latin America might be moved to engage in a service learning project in a nation in Latin America. Perhaps the student has made a connection through an Academy teacher to a student at a school in Costa Rica. The SA student, building a relationship with students at that school, might learn that the school has a particular need. The SA student might then formulate a response to that need with the partnership of the Costa Rican student and propose that response as a Global Action project. Global Studies advisors are available to students to help them formulate their Global Action projects.
  • Q. What if I do not have the opportunity to travel abroad to perform Global Action?

    A. International travel is not required in order to complete the GS Certificate program.

    Global Action projects can be initiated and completed locally in partnership with local non-profit global service organizations that offer volunteer opportunities. Creative thinking and initiative on the part of the student, as well as demonstrating a passion for being part of the solution to a global problem are central to understanding the spirit of global action.

    Local organizations such as World Vision, Global Links, etc. offer great volunteer opportunities for globally focused work.
  • Q. How are my points awarded/recorded in the course of the program?

    A. In order to be awarded points, it is insufficient just to have experiences like travel, hosting, or global service work. Every experience needs to be documented on special forms, supported by photographs and other materials that show the details of these events, and submitted to the Global Studies Office for review and evaluation. Points are recorded in the student’s personal portfolio and updated at the end of each trimester.
  • Q. How can I share my Global Studies work with colleges?

    A. All submitted materials and forms will be stored in students’ personal electronic portfolios, currently in the form of a Google Site. Students are encouraged to personalize and expand their portfolios so that it becomes a cloud-based story of their development and artifacts of accomplishment, easily shareable as a showcase during the college application process.

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Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized Pittsburgh private school enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.