Citizens of the World

Poly’s Global Initiatives Program is a K-12 program that seeks to develop and instill within students the tools and experiences necessary so they may become considerate, contributing, and connected global citizens. Upper School students study various cultures, interact with people in other parts of the world, undertake a service project, and experience cultural events from around the world. Those students who complete the GIP’s extensive requirements in each of the four areas will graduate with the honor of being recognized as Polytechnic Global Scholars.

Read more about GIP's sponsored events from Spring 2022.

About Poly's Global Initiatives Program

List of 6 items.

  • Coursework

    Globally oriented courses are available to all Upper School students and are an integral part of the completion of a GIP certificate. Course titles include (AP English Literature and Composition) Global Shakespeare, Literature of Pilgrimage, Literature and Science of Disease, Film: History and Application, International Relations, World Cultures, Intercultural Theater, Globalization and Human Rights, and World History Through Sport, Spanish V: Global Community in Action, and French IV: Le Monde Francophone. Students can also take advantage of a variety of global course offerings through the Global Online Academy.
  • Cultural Interaction

    In Poly's Global Initiatives Program, the foremost goal is to foster dialogue with people from a variety of regions around the world. We can learn about the views and values of other cultures through events, online exchanges, and face-to-face contact. The GIP’s travel abroad program is the highlight for many of our Upper School students. These trips focus on cultural immersion, face-to-face interaction, and service learning, and build on the partnerships that we have created with schools and organizations. Our spring break and summer offerings include Cambodia/Vietnam, China, Cuba, France, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Senegal. In addition, Poly hosts many schools from around the world with whom we have established relationships, including Nirayama High School in Japan, Beijing 161 in China, the Lycée Victor DuRuy in Paris, and Auckland Grammar School in New Zealand.
  • Events

    Each school year, the GIP presents a series of school-sponsored cultural programs which are open to all students, parents, faculty, and staff. These events include guest speakers, films, trips to museums, festivals, art and dance performances, and panel discussions. 
  • Service

    To complete the cycle of learning and interaction, global studies implies service to others. Just as our Community Outreach programs support many local agencies and causes, the GIP aims to broaden the Upper School’s outreach into the global community. 
  • Global Scholars

    Upper School students have the opportunity to explore and deepen their study of global issues and cultures through participation in the Global Scholar program, which begins during the second semester of their junior year and ends with the conferring of a Global Scholar certificate at the end of their senior year.

    To become a Global Scholar, a student must:
    • Successfully complete four GIP-approved classes in at least two different disciplines (including Facing Global Challenges senior seminar);
    • Study four years of a modern language*;
    • Attend 10 GIP evening/weekend events (two during senior year);
    • Participate in a GIP-approved global service project;
    • Participate in a GIP-approved cultural/linguistic immersion program**;
    • Create and maintain a blog from spring of junior year to end of project;
    • Serve as a Global Ambassador (with AFS student, visiting schools, and GIP series speakers);
    • Complete and present an individualized Global Scholar project.
    *Latin students can take three years of Latin and one year of a modern language.
    **Students who cannot travel can fulfill that requirement through hosting international students or attending a cultural immersion experience in the Los Angeles area.
  • Global Initiatives Alliance

    In the summer of 2012, the 50-year-old Poly AFS Board made the decision to focus its fundraising efforts on Poly’s GIP travel programs, providing speakers and culturally enriching opportunities and raising awareness of and promoting dialogue on global issues in the Poly parent community. In addition, GIA has committed to bringing cultural exchange and enrichment to the campus every year by identifying Poly host families, supporting numerous events for the local AFS chapter, and seeking ways to support and celebrate Poly’s exchange student. 

Learn About the 2023-2024 Travel Programs

Mission Statement

The Polytechnic School’s Global Initiatives Program supports the school’s mission and Credo by fostering an interest in, an understanding of, and a respect for the dignity and worth of fellow human beings and their cultures worldwide. An understanding of the world calls for a willingness to learn through study, to reach out and communicate with one another in interaction, and to realize that we can help shape the future by service and listening. The Global Initiatives Program seeks to prepare all Poly graduates to live with confidence and good character in a rapidly changing and globally connected world.

GIP Coordinators

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Richard Caragher

    Rick Caragher 

    Upper School History; Co-Director, Global Initiatives Program
  • Photo of Ann Diederich

    Ann Diederich 

    Upper School World Languages; Director of Global Partnerships & Programming; Co-Director, GIP