Through its award-winning educational outreach program, the Council annually organizes events focused on the foreign policy challenges which lie ahead for the successor generation. Each year, these events reach a combined total of more than 8,000 students and teachers in 200 area schools.
The mission of the Global Education Initiative actively engages secondary school students and educators across the region to promote:
- the skills necessary to navigate a complex, diverse and increasingly interdependent world,
- informed and independent thinking about international affairs, and
- critical understanding about important issues in a globalized world as they affect the nation and this region.
Today’s students will grow up as citizens of a global power and participants in an increasingly global marketplace. They need to understand and think critically about their world—and the diverse cultures, perspectives, and interests comprising that world. Teachers turn to the World Affairs Council for access to educational programs that keep pace with the events and issues that shape our futures.
Through the innovative use of video conferencing technology and social media, students in Western Pennsylvania have the opportunity to collaborate with each other as well as their peers around the world through the Council’s ongoing relationships with schools and organizations in Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Ghana, Greece, India, Italy, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of Georgia, South Africa, and Taiwan. Video conferencing is offered free-of-charge for schools in partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 and MAGPI.
Educational outreach events take a variety of formats, including visits to schools by experts and policy practitioners, international youth forums, international career seminars, international student summits, accredited workshops for teachers, and intensive two-long summer institutes. The Council also develops curricular materials such as lesson plans, preparatory materials, and “Ask the Expert” informational videos on key global issues.
Each year, the Council awards Global Travel Scholarships to a select group of rising seniors who otherwise would not have the opportunity to travel overseas.