MEI International Academy - "The World is Our Classroom"

MEI International Academy

About

With MEI International Academy you'll need to bring your passport, because the world is our classroom. Rather than a typical exchange program, high school students and recent graduates from around the world travel from city to city and country to country engaging in summer, semester or full year academic programs. With MEI you'll see the world, earn high school credits for university admission, meet dynamic students and teachers, and gain new insights into your future. For nearly 20 years certified MEI teachers have provided safe, supportive environments for students to expand their horizons and become empowered citizens of the world. MEI International Academy is fully accredited by a public school board in Guelph ON, Canada.

Website
goo.gl
Founded
1997
Headquarters

15816 Peel Regional Rd 50
Bolton ON L7E 0A3
Canada

Reviews

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Chloe
10/10

I am completing the big year, I traveled to Asia and Austrialia for my first semester of senior year and I will travel to Europe for the second semester of senior year. This experience and opportunity is truly once in a lifetime. I had the most incredible time on my first semester and I can’t wait for semester two to start. The people who do this program are so open-minded and mature so it makes getting along with people very easy. The places I traveled to were so amazing, destinations such as Angkor Wat and the Great Barrier Reef are dream trips on the top of most travelers lists so I feel very grateful that I was able to experience all of it. The school work is demanding and it challenges you, but in the best way possible. I feel the courses have prepared well for university because we do assignments that have purpose, rather than loads of busy work I use to do at my traditional school. If you have the opportunity to do this program I would not turn it down, it is an incredible experience that I will no doubt remember for the rest of my life.

What was the most nerve-racking moment?
Walking into the pre-departure meeting is the most nerve racking moment by far. The good part is that everyone is in the same boat- no one knows each other so everyone is nervous! Walking in to the room where your group and teachers are, and meeting them for the first time does feel like that first day of school moment. Although the nerves go away right after that moment. You instanley get a feeling of inclusion and welcomeness with the group as a whole.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Zoe
10/10

I can hands down say that studying abroad with MEI was the best decision I have ever made. Coming from a traditional high school, my preconceptions of studying abroad were pretty standard. I expected to experience, fun, community, and knowledge. What I couldn't have planned for was how just three months would drastically expand my views on the world we live in and at the same time grow my confidence and internal reflection of what it means to be a cog in the greater machine of society. With MEI you are given all of the tools and guidance to challenge yourself as far as you wish. What makes this program so unique is the self-led investigation that is encouraged throughout. The teachers would cover the required curriculum while at the same time encouraging and supporting me and my peers when our curiosity sparked by something specifically. For example, when I expressed an interest in learning how to write a proper professional email, an English assignment was adapted so I could have time set aside to explore that writing format. Or when I expressed an extreme desire to trek across Beijing to the Summer Palace, the teachers celebrated my passion and gave me the time and resources to do it. The people I met and places I visited shaped the way I think of the world at present and my views toward the future. Studying with MEI has redefined what learning means and I am so grateful for my experience on the Term 1 and 2 programs.

What would you improve about this program?
If I could improve anything it would be to visit more off the beaten path locations. Some of my favourite memories and best learning experiences took place in the locations that one may have never even heard of, such as Mui Ne, Vietnam, or Yungaburra, Australia.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Payton
10/10

I was a shy kid growing up. I never did anything that would force me out of my comfort zone. I would surround myself with my best friends. So, when I saw the MEI Fall semester online I knew I needed to apply. I needed to do something for myself. I needed to do something that would change my life. The MEI Fall Semester was incredible. There are no words to describe how amazing this experience was but I’m going to try to explain it in a few paragraphs.

First you step into a room with a bunch of people you’ve never met before in your life. Immediately you feel comfortable around them, because these will be the people you spend your next three months with. You switch roommates every location so it’s impossible not to get close with everyone on the trip. As cliché as it sounds these people will become your family. I shared so many secrets that I have never admitted to anyone in my life.

From climbing the Great Wall of China to Hiking in the Blue Mountains every experience pairs with an amazing scenic view. We walked through night markets in Beijing and Hong Kong and explored the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City. There is not one memory that I can say was better than the rest because each day was a rollercoaster of events. In Australia we would wake up early in the morning to do an hour workout. It would drain us all of our energy, but we would rejuvenate in our beautiful three-bedroom apartments treating ourselves to homemade breakfast and showers. Next, we would have a lesson normally at a luscious green park and write in our morning notes about experiences, memories, and writing prompts provided. Afterwards we would have free time to explore the streets of the location we were in. Normally stopping in coffee shops to have our lunchtime latte while getting some work done. Later on, we would reconnect with everyone for a sport tournament or an activity. Everyday ran like this in Australia and Bali, and even though Asia was a bit more chaotic it ran the same way as well.

We developed such a common routine on the trip and got so used to the physical activity we had to partake in each day. Now that I’m back at home I miss the vigorous workouts. Even the academics were a challenge but so rewarding with every assignment we completed. We were required to present in front of the class to develop our public speaking skills, like our climate change debate in Mui Ne. Each of our presentations and book chats allowed everyone to have an equal voice. After every essay I wrote or short story I presented it felt gratifying. I knew all of my assignments broadcasted the best of my abilities and they helped me improve my communication skills.

If I can tell you anything that will convince you to come on the trip, is just know these people you meet: will be your friends for the rest of your life. As I am back to the real world, we are already planning reunions to see each other again. This trip is meant for you if you have a will and wanderlust. Everyone on this trip loved to travel, and we cherished each experience so much. The academics and physical activity may be challenging, but you can get through it and achieve your personal goals. Before I went on this trip I was lazy, I would watch TV when I woke up and watch it when I got back from school. After being on an incredible journey I don’t even think of wasting my time staring at a screen, I now am much more productive and have an even greater will to achieve everything I set my mind to.

What would you improve about this program?
If there is anything that you could improve it would be allowing the trip to be a few extra days at the end after ISU's and exams so that we can spend them relaxing and hanging out with our best friends.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Julia
10/10

After traveling with MEI Academy for 5 weeks throughout the summer of 2018, going back to normal high school will be a challenge. The trip that I signed up for with great enthusiasm ended up being more amazing then I could have ever imagined it to be. Before too soon, our group that was made up of people who all had different interests and all came from different places was a family. I made friendships that I will cherish for a long time coming. I believe it was so easy for everyone to get along and get close was because we are all hungry to travel and eager to learn; an environment in which I directly found my spot. There is a balance between education and social experiences, and almost all the time, the two overlap. One thing to know is that while this trip is amazing, it is definitely not a vacation There is a great sense of responsibility when you have the decision of going to visit the Big Ben or writing a last-minute essay that you haven’t worked on in the days prior. Time management is a skill that definitely is important during this trip, and even if it isn’t a great skill when starting this adventure, it most definitely will be one of your strongest coming out of it. Besides time management I have developed skills that I will use for the rest of my life. Responsibility, proper social skills, even going to the laundromat and doing our own laundry sometimes ended up being a challenge, but are all skills that have been enhanced during those 5 weeks. My favourite aspect of the trip is the fact that we weren’t just in these incredible places, but our amazing teachers were able to incorporate these environments into our lessons, which truly made the world “our classroom”. We would learn about marketing with the Eiffel tower in the background or reading poems about Dover Beach, while driving past Dover Beach. These are experiences you just aren’t able to recreate while sitting in a classroom. Overall this trip is something that I know I will be looking back on for years and years to come. It was an amazing experience that I would not have wanted to miss for the world.

What would you improve about this program?
Improved sightseeing aspect of the program in London in order to see more of the city.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ben
10/10

For me, the single best aspect of the trip was the connections and friendships that I made over the 35 days. I believe that this trip attracts some of the best people, but I must give credit to the teachers for creating the family aspect and feeling that each and everyone of us felt while on the trip this summer. The teachers encouraged us to get to know, and spend time with every person on the trip. With a group as large as ours (32 students) it would have been easy to get to the end of the trip and realize that there are people that you have never talked to. I am glad to say this didn't happen.
In terms of the school work, it was busy. It was most defiantly not a free ride as some people had predicted it to be. It was busy for an obvious reason. We completed two grade 12 courses in 35 days instead of the normal 5 months. It was challenging, but the teachers were incredibly helpful and approachable, which made the workload manageable. The teachers not only had these qualities when it came to school work, but you could also talk to them about anything and they were always helpful and made you feel comfortable.
I enjoyed the freedom of having free time over lunch and in the evenings, but having structured activities and excursions were also a ton of fun and allowed us to get to know people better. Some of my favourite excursions were the cave diving, the zip-lines, and the Jaguar Park hike!
From the trip one of the biggest take aways that myself, and most people had, was how to be more independent and how to manage time better. Due to how fast pace the course is, time management is crucial in order to get all the work done on time, as well as leaving time to take in the unique surroundings that you are in.

Yes, I recommend this program

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