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 around global issues. These skills and perspectives help them become lifelong, active participants in theglobal community, while also promoting an appreciation of cultural diversity and global responsibility.
The study of other languages opens up the world to students. Language is an important element throughout the K – 12 curriculum. 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, language is integrated into the curriculum (Mandarin Chinese in first grade, Japanese in second grade and Hawaiian in third grade). Young students not only learn basic language skills, but they are immersed within that culture for the duration of their studies. Elementary language and culture courses are also available after school in grades 1 – 6, as well as after school language immersion in Hawaiian, Japanese or Mandarin Chinese in K – grade 5.
Beginning in the seventh grade, Punahou offers elective language choices, including French, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Latin (two years provided only in grades 7 and 8).
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. Arabic is also available through Global Online Academy.
International Travel and Exchange
In Grade 5, 7 and 8, students have several opportunities for international travel. Each year, small groups of students can participate in 7 – 10 day homestays with partner schools in Japan, China and Sweden. Reciprocal visits by students from these schools give Punahou students the chance to take part in the cultural exchange and even be a homestay host.
In the Academy, Punahou offers students summer travel study programs. Destinations vary year-to-year, but have included Alaska, Bhutan, China, Costa Rica, Japan, New Zealand, Senegal, Tahiti and Rapa Nui.
Punahou is a member of the School Year Abroad consortium, which provides high school juniors or seniors 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.
Student Global Leadership Institute
Since 2010, the Student Global Leadership Institute (SGLI) has been developing 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.