Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Interview with Maya Frost: The New Global Student

I was recently contacted by Maya Frost to do a review of her book (she's sending me a review copy)...and decided to google her name out of curiousity. It turned up quite a few hits, including a link to her blogged NPR interview. Meet Maya online via YouTube.

It also turned up this interview below that makes me wonder if I'm doing right by my daughter in high school and whether she should go through the traditional route. As a parent, it's pretty scary to deviate from the "approved" route of education and encourage an alternative route. Maya's experiences as an entrepreneur, travels abroad may have prepared her for this, but I wonder whether all our children can truly be "bold schoolers," a term she uses in the interview below.

That said, I'm looking forward to reading the book after skimming the interview below!

You can also listen to this interview with Maya Frost via Classroom 2.0 (the question is increasingly becoming, who hasn't Steve Hargadon interviewed yet?!? ;->):
In 2005, Maya Frost and her husband sold everything and left their suburban American lifestyle behind in order to have an adventure abroad. The tricky part: they had to shepherd their four teenage daughters through high school, into college and beyond in nontraditional ways. Her book, The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education, has just been published and we'll be talking about the affordable, accessible, and stunningly advantageous options they stumbled upon that any student can leverage to get an outrageously relevant global education.

Maya's book is intended to help other families take advantage of the lessons they learned and the loopholes they discovered. As a former ESL teacher she's spent the last few years paying attention to the ways in which we educate our children, and she shows parents how to completely avoid the angst and expense of the traditional college-prep process and give their kids a personalized, relevant and exhilarating global education that doesn't cost a fortune. Maya introduces us to savvy U.S. students who are gliding into the global economy at 19 or 20 with a four-year degree, sizzling 21st-century skills, a blazing sense of direction--and NO DEBT.
Source: The Future of Education, Steve Hargadon
My highlights from a Diigo'd interview:

    • Maya, you have recently written a book on creative global education. What prompted this?

      In 2005, my husband and I decided to sell everything and leave our suburban American lifestyle behind in order to have a family adventure abroad. The tricky part: we had FOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTERS at the time and had to figure out how to usher them through high school, into college and beyond without following the traditional college-prep path or enrolling them in American schools abroad.

    • The new breed of American global students
    • is laughing at the lunacy of the current college-prep mindset and stepping away from the outdated four-by-four model (four years of high school followed by four years of college). They are gliding Young globals who have lived and/or studied in other countries are finding it easier to get hired by multinationals in the US that are looking for single bilinguals who are eager to be transferred to satellite offices abroad.
    • Those who are most likely to thrive in business in the years ahead are self-directed, innovative, and truly excited about what they’re doing.
    • An education path that requires jumping through hoops, not questioning the status quo, and limiting the chances of developing a clear sense of one’s own interests and gifts isn’t likely to crank out the kind of creative thinkers who will develop new business models and collaborate with others in unprecedented ways.
    • In addition, those who have a strong secondary interest (other than business) are more likely to both develop products they’re passionate about and serve a targeted market more strategically. And keep in mind that the majority of new businesses are started by those without a business degree.
    • Many are recognizing the distinct advantages of spending a year abroad during their junior year of high school rather than engaging in a semester-long party abroad with their American college classmates. In the book, I discuss the psychological and biological benefits of going earlier rather than later, the most important being that a younger adolescent brain is more likely to be hardwired for language learning and flexibility, which are two key components of a good global education.
    • Less than 3 percent of all American higher ed students spend time studying abroad, and the vast majority of those are engaged in post-grad studies (only 16 percent are undergrads). The numbers are going up (gradually) only because there are more short-term trips offered now and these are less expensive than longer stays. Over half of those who study abroad do so for eight weeks or less and most head to the UK or other English-speaking countries or traditional European destinations (France, Spain, Italy).
    • it comes down to designing an education that promotes innovation, develops flexibility and deepens a student’s understanding of his own interests and talents. The best way to do that is to release attachment to the old four-by-four model and embrace options that allow each student to be challenged in the most relevant ways possible.
    • Those who are going to do well in business—in the US or abroad--are crafting their own combination of education, study abroad, travel, and challenging personal adventures that really give them an edge in the global workplace.
    • Bold Schoolers shine because they are more likely to “swirl”—attend more than one university prior to earning a diploma. Spending four (or more) years at one university is somewhat limiting—after all, students could learn a great deal more by enrolling in two or more colleges in different states, countries or cultures. In terms of developing flexibility and creative thinking skills, swirling is an advantage that savvy students are building into their education design.
    • The new global students are getting a ragin’ education on campus, online, on the road and on their own terms and time lines, and they are soaring above their peers who are pondering whether or not to spend yet another year on that same campus in order to get an extra major.
    • The reality is that students today are likely to have jobs that have not been invented yet, so rather than preparing for a specific field and focusing on a narrow range of options they need to both broaden and deepen their skills and knowledge. Those who have a keen interest in two or more seemingly unrelated areas—for example, music and physics—have an opportunity to pursue both, leading to enhanced thinking in both fields and even more options for creative employment.
    • to fully develop your talents and find your own best work in order to contribute to society in the most meaningful way. The best advice is to figure out what you love, explore it in as many ways and places as you can, bring in elements from other areas that interest you, and get good at using both sides of your brain.
    • The website for the book is and there’s a media page with contact info as well as links for specific interests related to the book. My personal web page is at

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure