CTY Around the World
« Mauricio Sanchez of Manizales, Colombia, is one of hundreds of students from outside the United States who came to CTY in 2011.
Becoming the ‘Minds They Are Meant to Be’
This summer Mauricio Sanchez traveled 2,300 miles from his home in Manizales, Colombia, to the CTY Summer Programs site at Johns Hopkins University so he could learn the principles and practice of engineering.
Yida Cai left her friends and family at home in Hong Kong this summer so that she could indulge her love of writing by learning about crafting essays at CTY’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania site.
CTY offers such a completely different view of what learning is.”
And Peter Janiš gave up three weeks of school vacation to go to CTY’s Carlisle site in July and study probability and game theory. This is knowledge the Bratislava, Slovakia, teen knows will be valuable to him as he pursues future studies in business and law.
Mauricio, Yida, and Peter all attend highly competitive high schools in their homelands. But for each of them, CTY provided learning opportunities they couldn’t get otherwise. “At school you go to different classes—physics, math, chemistry, humanities—but none of what you learn is connected,” Mauricio explains one afternoon as he works alongside two classmates to construct a bridge from spaghetti that would withstand the greatest amount of weight. “Here you’re not just learning, you’re applying, connecting, and understanding and knowing why things are the way they are.”
Enrollment in CTY by international students is growing. This year 1,100 students from nearly 50 countries outside the United States attended CTY Summer Programs. In addition, international students account for about 10 percent of this year’s 11,450 CTYOnline enrollments.
And CTY isn’t just waiting for international students to come to us, we’re going to them. Countries around the world are establishing their own versions of CTY using consulting, training, and intellectual property provided by our Baltimore office. The goal? To create an international network of bright students who will one day collaborate to solve the world’s greatest problems.
Some of CTY’s current international projects include:
- Egypt. Working with the newly created Al Alfi Center for Talent Development, CTY helped develop a five-year plan to bring world-class programs and resources for gifted students to Egypt and surrounding regions. As Moataz Al Alfi, founder and chair of the foundation, explains, “[We] have a mandate to bring the [CTY] model to our gifted students and help them become the minds they are meant to be.”
- Malaysia. CTY is in the third year of an agreement with the government of Malaysia that includes consulting, training instructors, and helping to establish programs. Meeting the needs of gifted students is central to the country’s mission to transform its manufacturing base to a knowledge economy by 2020 through nurturing talent and promoting innovation in its version of CTY called Permata Pintar, which means Gifted Gems.
- Kazakhstan. As the country works to transform its entire educational system from kindergarten through university, CTY is assisting Kazakhstan in developing programs, training instructors, and establishing resources for academically gifted K-12 students.
Some of the other countries engaged in serious discussions with CTY about creating international programs are Brazil, Kuwait, Singapore, and the Czech and Slovak Republics through the American Fund for Czech and Slovak Leadership Studies.
At the end of his lab, Mauricio slings his backpack onto his shoulder and prepares to exit the basement classroom littered with broken pasta, stray gloves, and bridges in varying stages of completion. He’d like to stay longer, but class is over for the day.
“CTY offers such a completely different view of what learning is,” he says. “At school my classmates do an assignment and never think about it again. Here people see learning as something fun, something they want to do because they are curious, something they really enjoy. I like that.”