The summer after their freshman year at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York, Alice G. and Ayan R. participated in CIEE Global Navigator High School Summer Abroad programs. Alice studied Italian Language and Culture in Italy, and Ayan studied Service and Leadership in the Dominican Republic.
"It was the most amazing and eye-opening experience of our lives," said Alice and Ayan. "After getting back, we decided to start a club to help spread awareness in our school about the prospect of studying abroad."
They named the club Tech Treks after their school, Brooklyn Technical High School, which is often referred to as "Tech." They are entering their senior year with a growing club and increasing interest in high school study abroad. The club focuses on helping students with applications and fundraising for additional costs such as flights. The club pairs interested students with student mentors who have studied abroad and can advise students on how to best acheive their study abroad goals.
"We thought that studying abroad was an invaluable experience for us, that truly shaped us into the people we are today," said Alice and Ayan. "Not only did it open our eyes to world issues and improve our language abilities, but it taught us necessary life skills like independence and overcoming challenges. We wanted more students at our school, typically underclassmen, to have the chance to experience this life-altering program."
The club aims to emphasize the importance of studying abroad to the student body through guiding students through the application process, teaching them about fundraising, and creating a club bonding experience over shared interests in global awareness and experiences.
Brooklyn Tech is part of the CIEE Global Navigator School Network, a network of schools that have a committment to World Lanaguage instruction and global citizenship. Global Navigator Schools are selected nationwide to received a designated amount of financial aid funding to help students have the chance to study abroad. Since 2016, Brooklyn Tech students have received more than $350,000 in scholarship awards from CIEE thanks to Global Navigator Scholarships, a donor-supported initiative to open access to study abroad opportunities to all high school students regardless of socio-ecomonic background.
To learn more about supporting high school students studying abroad, click here.