Global Culture and Media Academy at Penn

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

campus of the University of Pennsylvania

Global Culture and Media Academy at Penn

The Global Culture and Media Academy is a special program at the University of Pennsylvania for high school students. It helps them learn about how people from different parts of the world communicate and understand each other. This is important because our world is very connected, and knowing about other cultures helps us get along better with everyone. The program teaches about cultural differences, stereotypes, and the role of media worldwide. It’s a good way for students to prepare for a world that keeps changing and to become better at talking to people from different places.

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about what the Global Culture and Media Academy is and why it’s a good choice for high school students who want to learn more about the world. Students in this program don’t just sit in front of a computer; they live and learn together, which helps them really understand how people from different cultures think and live. We’ll cover how you can join, what you’ll learn, and why it’s something that can help you in the future.

What is the Global Culture and Media Academy?

The Global Culture and Media Academy is a unique program hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. Its main goal is to teach high school students about how language and culture impact the way we communicate with each other across the globe. This program helps students understand the complex relationship between language, culture, and communication in today’s globalized world. By focusing on this, the academy prepares students for the modern world, teaching them to appreciate cultural differences, recognize stereotypes, and navigate the global media landscape effectively.

Diverse group of young people chatting in college library

The academy emphasizes the importance of becoming a global citizen in the 21st century. It’s a fully residential program, meaning students live on campus, encouraging deep engagement and immersion in the learning material.

Through the course, students will work on various projects and activities that aim to develop their understanding of how stereotypes can influence perceptions and behaviors in different cultures. They will learn to appreciate art and music from various perspectives, respond to social media posts in culturally sensitive ways, understand the impact of globalized products on society, and collaborate on projects to address common stereotypes.

The program includes guest lectures from Penn faculty and leaders in language, culture, and business, along with experiential activities designed to foster reflection and communication. By the end of the course, students will have developed the skills and behaviors essential for effective intercultural communication and 21st-century global citizenship.

Where is the Global Culture and Media Academy Being Held?

The Global Culture and Media Academy is hosted at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania in the heart of Philadelphia. This campus-based program offers students a unique opportunity to live and learn in one of America’s oldest and most vibrant cities. Unlike many modern educational programs, the Global Culture and Media Academy does not offer online classes. This decision underscores the academy’s commitment to providing an immersive learning experience that can only be achieved through direct, in-person participation.

Philadelphia, known for its rich historical significance and cultural diversity, is the perfect backdrop for the academy. The University of Pennsylvania’s campus itself is a blend of historic and modern architecture, lush green spaces, and state-of-the-art facilities. It provides a stimulating environment for students who are eager to dive deep into the complexities of global culture and media. The campus setting facilitates academic learning and encourages students to explore a major American city’s social and cultural fabric.

The academy’s location at the University of Pennsylvania offers several advantages. First, it allows students to experience life at an Ivy League university, giving them a taste of college life and the rigor of higher education. Students get to stay in university dormitories and use the libraries, dining halls, and other campus facilities, just like regular college students. This aspect of the program is particularly appealing as it offers a glimpse into the future for many high school students considering their next educational steps.

View of UPenn building at day time.

Moreover, the campus-based approach promotes a sense of community among the participants. Since there are no online classes, students and instructors interact face-to-face daily, fostering a collaborative and supportive learning environment. This setting is vital for discussing complex issues like cultural differences and stereotypes, where nuanced understanding and empathy are crucial. It also enables students to engage in experiential learning activities designed to enhance their communication skills and cultural awareness.

The emphasis on a residential experience means that students are learning in a classroom setting and living together. This arrangement encourages exchanging ideas and perspectives outside formal learning sessions, enriching the educational experience. Through shared meals, group activities, and casual conversations, students from diverse backgrounds can learn from each other, further enhancing their understanding of global cultures.

When Does the Global Culture and Media Academy Take Place?

The Global Culture and Media Academy will occur from July 6 to July 27, 2024. This means the program runs during the summer, a perfect time for high school students to dive into learning without the distractions of their regular school year.

On July 6th, students will move into their residential spaces on the University of Pennsylvania campus. This is the day you’ll settle in your new home for the next few weeks, meet your fellow participants, and prepare for the exciting learning journey ahead. The academy ends on July 27th, which is when students will move out of their campus accommodations. This three-week period is packed with learning, activities, and experiences focusing on understanding global cultures and media.

Why Should You Join the Global Culture and Media Academy?

Joining the Global Culture and Media Academy is a great idea if you want to learn more about the world and how to get along with people from different places. This academy happens at the University of Pennsylvania and is a special program for high school students like you. Here’s why it’s worth joining:

First, it helps you understand how people from different cultures think and live. The world has many different kinds of people, and when we know more about each other, we can be better friends and work together more easily. At the academy, you’ll learn about different traditions and ways of life, which can make you more open-minded and ready to meet new people.

Second, you’ll learn how to be smart about what you see and read in the media. Today, we get a lot of our information from the internet, TV, and social media. But not everything we hear or read is true or fair. The academy teaches you how to tell if a news story or a social media post is trustworthy and how to spot when something is biased or unfair. This is a really important skill because it helps you understand the world better and form your own opinions based on facts.

Third, the academy teaches you how to deal with stereotypes and misunderstandings about different cultures. Sometimes, people have wrong ideas about others because they come from a different country or background. These wrong ideas can make us treat others unfairly. At the academy, you’ll learn how to see past these stereotypes and appreciate what makes each person unique. This is important for making new friends and working well with others.

Being part of the academy isn’t just about studying; it’s also about doing things together with other students and learning from each other. You’ll live on campus, so you’ll get to know the other students and have fun while learning. Plus, the things you learn here are not just for school; they’re skills that will help you in college, your future job, and life.

So, joining the Global Culture and Media Academy is a great way to learn about different cultures, be smart about the media, and understand how to be kind and fair to everyone. It’s a chance to prepare for a world that’s always changing and ensure you’re ready to be part of it.

How to Join the Global Culture and Media Academy

Joining the Global Culture and Media Academy is an exciting opportunity for high school students interested in learning about global cultures and media. Here’s how you can be part of this program:

First, you need to be a current 10th or 11th-grade student. This means the academy is looking for students who are in the middle of their high school journey. It’s a chance to add something really special to your high school experience before you start thinking about college.

a student is studying while using his laptop

To apply, you’ll need to use the online application system. This is the same system that the University of Pennsylvania uses for other programs, like college and graduate school admissions. So, don’t be surprised if some of the language in the application seems like it’s for other programs. Just focus on the parts that are about the summer high school programs, including the Global Culture and Media Academy.

Here are the main things you need to have to apply:

  • A minimum 3.3 GPA in high school. This shows that you’re doing well in your classes and are ready for the challenge of the academy.
  • Good writing skills. Your application should include writing that not only shows you can put sentences together well but also that you can think deeply about topics.
  • Strong recommendations. You’ll need letters from people who know you well, like teachers or coaches, who can say why you’d be a great fit for this program.
  • Involvement in different activities outside of class. The academy looks for students who do more than just study. Whether sports, music, volunteering, or something else, your interests help show who you are.

Remember, the academy is a unique chance to learn about cultures and media from around the world. If you’re interested in these topics and meet the requirements above, consider applying. It could be a great way to spend part of your summer, learn a lot, and meet other students who share your interests.

How to Apply for the Global Culture and Media Academy

Applying for the Global Culture and Media Academy at the University of Pennsylvania is an exciting step towards an enriching summer experience. Here’s a simple guide on how to apply, including what documents you need and what to expect during the process.

Step 1: Complete the Online Application

Start by filling out the online application form. Make sure all your materials, like your transcript, show your name clearly so everything can be easily matched to you.

Step 2: Prepare Your Essays

You’ll need to write a few essays:

  • One about your academic and personal goals, and how the program at Penn can help you achieve them. Talk about what you’re looking forward to learning and doing this summer.
  • Another essay should be about your non-academic or extracurricular experiences and how these have helped you grow.
  • If English isn’t your first language, write about your experience learning and using English. Put all your essays in one document, number them clearly, and ensure none are over 400 words.

Step 3: Get Your High School Transcripts

Upload your high school transcripts with your application. They should show at least one full year of grades. If that’s not possible, you can include a recent report card or transcripts from middle or junior high school. Even if your grades are pass/fail, that’s okay, but you might need to provide more information if asked.

Step 4: One Letter of Recommendation

Ask someone who knows you well, like a teacher or coach, to write a recommendation letter. They can submit it online through the application system. Just put in their name and email, and the admissions team will contact them once you’ve submitted your application. The letter should be recent and talk about why you’re a good fit for this program.

Step 5: English Proficiency for Non-Native Speakers

If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to show you can understand and use English well. You can do this with scores from tests like the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, PSAT, ACT, or Duolingo English Test. There are ways to skip this step if it doesn’t apply to you.

Step 6: Pay the Application Fee

There’s a $75 fee to apply, which you can pay online with a credit card. This fee is not refundable.

Step 7: Supplemental Essays

Since you’re applying for the Global Culture and Media Academy, you are required to answer two more questions:

  • Have you traveled outside your home country? If so, share where, when, and for how long.
  • What does culture mean to you, and where do you see it in your life? Add these answers to the bottom of your document with the other essays, and remember, these shouldn’t be more than 400 words each.

Once you’ve completed these steps, review your application to make sure everything is correct and submit it. Applying to the Global Culture and Media Academy is your chance to spend part of your summer learning about global cultures and media in a fun and engaging way.

How Much Does Joining the Global Culture and Media Academy Cost?

The program costs $9,700, covering expenses to ensure a comfortable and enriching experience. This fee includes campus fees, allowing you to use the University of Pennsylvania’s academic facilities. You’ll have on-campus housing, so living right in the heart of the university makes it easy to get to your classes and activities.

The program fee also includes gym access, so you can stay active and use the university’s fitness facilities. Linens are provided, so you don’t have to worry about bringing bedding or towels. When it comes to meals, you’re covered with three meals a day from Monday to Friday and two meals on Sunday. Saturdays are a bit different because that’s when you’ll be going on excursions or participating in special activities, so meals are not provided that day.

In addition to these essentials, the cost covers extracurricular activities and trips, which are a big part of the academy experience. These activities are designed to complement your learning and allow you to explore more of what the university and Philadelphia offers. Finally, the fee includes student supervision to ensure your safety and well-being throughout the program.

So, while the cost might seem high initially, it’s important to remember everything it includes. You’re not just paying for classes; you’re paying for a full experience that combines learning, living on a college campus, and exploring new ideas and places with students from around the world. If you’re interested in cultures and media and meet the application requirements, this program is a valuable investment in your education and future.

How Hard is it to Get Into the Global Culture and Media Academy?

Getting into the Global Culture and Media Academy can be competitive. This is because the program at the University of Pennsylvania is popular and attracts students from all over who are interested in learning about different cultures and media. The academy looks for students who are not only doing well in their classes but also showing a deep interest in understanding global cultures and how media works worldwide.

To stand out in the application process, it’s important to have good grades, with a minimum high school GPA of 3.3. But it’s not just about grades. The essays you write for your application are really important too. They show the academy who you are beyond your grades. Your essays should talk about your goals, your experiences outside of school, and what culture means to you. This is your chance to share your unique perspective and what excites you about joining the program.

View of UPenn sign

Another key part of your application is the recommendation letter. This should come from someone who knows you well and can discuss why you’re a good fit for this academy. It helps if the letter is from a teacher or someone else who can speak to your interests and abilities related to culture and media.

Even though the application process is competitive, don’t let that discourage you. If you’re interested in global cultures and media, and you’re ready to put effort into your application, you can get in. Make sure to pay attention to each part of the application, from your grades to your essays, and show your genuine interest in the program. This can help your application stand out among the many others.

Final Thoughts

The Global Culture and Media Academy at the University of Pennsylvania is a great opportunity for high school students to learn about different cultures and how media works around the world. It’s a special program where you can really get into these topics, not through online classes, but by living and studying right on a college campus.

This academy teaches you important things like understanding people from different places and being smart about what you see in the media. These are skills that are really useful for college, jobs, and just understanding the world better.

If you’re in 10th or 11th grade and this sounds interesting to you, think about applying. Just make sure to keep an eye on the deadline. This could be a really cool way to spend part of your summer, learning a lot and meeting new people.


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