Global Education

Global education seeks to provide students with skills, attitudes and knowledge necessary to deal with an increasingly interdependent world. Beyond learning about multicultural and international issues, students develop attitudes and thinking skills in global issues. They learn skills and perspectives that help them become lifelong, active participants in our global community, while also promoting an appreciation of cultural diversity and global responsibility.

Learning outcomes for programs encompass:

  • Understanding of one's own cultural identity
  • Valuing diverse cultures and learning from them
  • Understanding the world as one interdependent system
  • Understanding prevailing world conditions, process of change and emerging trends
  • Developing skills for constructive participation in a changing world

Language Programs

The study of other languages opens up the world to students. Language is an important element throughout the K – 12 curricula. Whether classical or modern, languages have been the endowment of a truly cultured person and an integral part of a sound education. Language reflects the traditions, values and beliefs of the people who developed it and who speak it.

Starting with the early grades, many languages are integrated into the curriculum. The first-grade curriculum focuses on Chinese language and culture. In the second grade, Japanese is taught and in the third grade, students learn Hawaiian language and customs. Young students not only learn basic language skills, but they are immersed within that culture for the duration of their studies.

Beginning in the seventh grade, Punahou provides a broad spectrum of language choices, including:

  • Classical (Latin) (two years provided only in grades 7 and 8)
  • Modern European (French and Spanish)
  • Asian (Japanese and Chinese)
  • Hawaiian

In the Academy, students need a minimum of two consecutive levels of a single language to fulfill graduation requirements. Course offerings include French, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

Travel and International Relations

Recognizing that studying in international environments can be both academically and personally enriching, Punahou offers Academy students a wide array of globally focused programs both on island and away.

Junior Year Abroad

China, France, Italy and Spain

Punahou is a member of the School Year Abroad consortium, which provides high school Juniors a full year of living with a European or Asian family while earning high school credits and receiving rigorous preparation for U.S. colleges and universities. Every year, approximately 60 American students study at each site: Beijing, China; Rennes, France; Viterbo, Italy; and Zaragoza, Spain. More information is available at Apply through the Wo International Center.

Travel Study Programs

These travel study programs are preceded by classes at Punahou. Most students participate after the Sophomore or Junior year. Generous need-based financial aid is available to students. Deadlines for these programs vary because of required travel arrangements. All deadlines precede regular course programming with the deans, so students must plan ahead. More

Student Global Leadership Institute

The purpose of the Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI) is to develop a community of international youth leaders who understand and are engaged in shared global challenges and who galvanize positive social change. SGLI explores leadership development characterized by creativity, a capacity for problem-solving, collaboration, communication and multicultural perspectives.

Wo International Center

The Wo International Center supports and initiates programs that promote understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and global responsibility for Punahou students and faculty, and the community at large. Programs include enrichment language classes, summer trips, year-long study abroad, curriculum development grants and evening speaker forums.