The Bergen County Academies Global Studies Initiative seeks to prepare students for success in a global economy and workforce; to provide students with an opportunity to interact with their peers in a global environment; to engender increased respect for values and traditions other than one's own; and to give students real-world exposure to, and experience with, students from another part of the world. The following is a sampling of past and future projects of the BCA Global Studies Initiative.
In 2023 the BCA Global Studies program returned with four outstanding and diverse opportunities for our students to study abroad and enrich themselves not just through the visits to other countries but to collaborate with international partners and students.
BCA Global Programs in the 2022-2023 School Year
Greece is the birthplace of Western Philosophy and democracy, its influence on Ancient Rome as well as modern nations is profound, thus making it the perfect destination for BCA's first humanities-based Global Studies program. As the origin of Western Civilization and thought, Greece provides an insight to many of the ideas and culture that are the foundation to American and Western European thought. Students experienced sites within Athens such as the Parthenon that has stood upon the Acropolis for millennia while also encountering and discovering the modern Greek experience. The foundation of the program was sustained through our partner school, Pierce - The American College of Greece, which holds a climate of harmonious co-existence and mutual respect between students and teachers. The school has academic departments in line with the standards of the American education system which allowed for our students to bond academically as well as socially.
London, Medical academy
London, AMST focused on medical teachings throughout the centuries and explored the exciting culture of the United Kingdom. BCA students were able to learn up-close and personal about the achievements in medicine pioneered in the UK by visiting National Health Service (NHS), University College London (UCL), and the Wellcome Collection Medical Museum. A highlight was also touring the oldest English-speaking university in the world, Oxford University.
This did not take away from the awe which is London! Travels included visiting the British Museum, Tower of London, and UK Parliament. Embark on a half-day bike tour of Hyde Park, it's palaces, and iconic London landmarks. The students finally visited a top-performing local high school, Latymer Upper School, and shadowed other students, attended classes, and made new friends. Through this visit, BCA students saw the vast differences in secondary education in both countries, but normal teenage life is not so different abroad. Through these experiences AMST seniors bonded together and returned to the US with not only a new appreciation for the world, but a new appreciation for each other.
BCA's partnership with Aarhus Cathedral School continued in 2023 as students from both schools collaborated through a new sustainability initiative. Both schools experienced a study abroad for young people fighting to stop climate change and make the climate crisis an urgent priority locally, nationally, and globally. The experience in Denmark brought BCA students to the city of Copenhagen, one of the most sustainable and energy efficient cities in the world. Not only were the students introduced to the sensitivities of climate change directly but gained an understanding of energy efficient buildings, preserving green space, and the supply-side efficiency of energy through the use of wind turbines and natural gas use.
And of course, Denmark's incredible culture and hospitality included BCA students visiting all the major sites of Copenhagen (New Harbor - the 17th-century port in Copenhagen, Rosenborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens) and Aarhus (old town open-air museum, ARoS art museum, and Aarhus Cathedral). Besides the visits to Denmark's famous cites of Copenhagen and Aarhus, the Katedralskole families welcomed BCA students into their home for a meal during the exchange as a valuable piece to Denmark's cultural hospitality.
London, Theatre academy:
AVPA/Theatre Juniors and Seniors experienced an intensive immersion into British theatre. Students saw a variety of West End, Off West End, and Fringe shows and visited some of the most famous theatre history sites in the world with a special tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and his birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Also, London offered a diverse history and many opportunities for cultural exploration. AVPA students experienced firsthand A traditional English High Tea, The National Portrait Gallery, Henry VIII's Hampton Court Palace, Camden Market and Westminster Abbey.