A Global Rebrand

The Global Programs office makes major changes to its department


Photo: Brian Gonzales

Members of the Queer Student Union (QSU), Claire Crawford, Talia Levine and Coleman Hunter go on a ropes course with Bellevue Zip Tours. QSU partnered with the Global Programs & Outdoor Education office to create an ECHO adventure for their affinity group.

After 18 months of online school, the Global Programs department is ready to make some changes.

“This year has been a good opportunity for Global Programs to think about domestic travel and how they connect with international experiences or diverse populations domestically,” Global and Outdoor Education Manager Kate Williams said.

Global Programs has combined with the previously separate outdoor education program.

“I think both of these programs share a common root: getting people into new environments. This can promote discomfort, but discomfort that you can overcome with knowledge, experience and support from us,” Williams said.

In this spirit, the department is

launching Global Link Pacific Northwest, a January intensive focused on learning about diverse communities and history of the Pacific Northwest.

“For example, the Scandinavian population in Ballard, why does Ballard look and feel the way it looks?” Williams said.

Freshman Zoe Sylvester is going on this trip.

“I look forward to getting outside with my friends and learning more about Washington State,” Sylvester said.

International trips, however, are still on hold due to COVID-19, given changing travel bans and restrictions regarding quarantine.

“COVID is spreading differently around the world, and everyone doesn’t have access to the same COVID mitigation protocols. So not everyone can get vaccinated in the places we are going,” Williams said.

The last international trips to Colombia and India occurred in January of 2020. Assistant Director of Middle School and music teacher, Tim Blok missed out on an opportunity to take a group of students to Botswana in the spring of 2020, [on a marimba focused trip.] 

“I was really excited to see the people that I had developed friendships with there, especially the folks in the music department, because we spent a lot of time with them working o

n marimba,” Blok said.

He was also looking forward to witnessing students’ first reactions.

“I have this video from a previous game ride in Botswana, where everyone in the vehicle behind me is just freaking out because they are so excited to see an elephant in the wild,” Blok said.

The rebranding of the Global Programs office will allow the UPrep community to learn and bond domestically and globally.

 “I would really encourage folks to explore opportunities and participate in our travel education adventures, whether it’s a half day program or a semester away experience,” Williams said. “Think about what is right for you, jump in and try it.”