Educating students to become good citizens of the world is central to a Sonoma Academy education. Explicit in our mission is for students to "communicate across cultures as they prepare to become leaders in a dynamic world.”
Cross-cultural study is part of humanities, arts, and exploratory courses, and a minimum of three years of a world language is a graduation requirement. As sophomores, students may begin to pursue a concentration (like a college minor) in Global Citizenship.
A key aspect of global learning is experience. Since its inception, SA has sponsored international trips and exchange programs. Half of our students travel internationally during their time here. SA students have gone to Thailand, the Czech Republic, Honduras, Japan, Ecuador, France, Nicaragua, Mexico, Costa Rica, Russia, and China. Most trips are offered during our January Intersession, some during Spring Break.
Sonoma Academy has ongoing partnerships with schools in China and France.
We have a 12-year exchange program with one of the foremost high schools in China. Established in 1907 in the capital city, Bejing School No. 4 is noted for its emphasis on math and science. Ninety percent of its graduates go on to study at university, 40 percent of which go to one of the top two universities in China. Every year since 2001, students from SA and Beijing School No. 4 have visited one another's schools, visiting classes and traveling to cultural sites. This relationship has been beneficial both to students and to the teachers who accompany them, who enjoy the opportunity to meet with faculty at the partner school.
We also have a sister school in France that is very prestigious, the Suger Lycee. Because of one of the many cultural exchange trips between students from SA and their school, we had a student decide to study at Sonoma Academy for a year! A group of our students went to the school for our January 2013 Intersession. You can see some of their photos here.
SA students have started ambitious international service projects. Several students formed a group called "Schools for Kabul," which raised money to build two schools in Afghanistan. They are continuing their efforts to fund even more educational opportunities in Kabul. Click here to read an article written about them in the Marin Independent Journal.