What is MEI Academy All About?
Our guiding principle has always been to encourage students to learn about the world and how to live in it. It isn’t enough to travel abroad, visit historical sites and museums, and expect meaningful connections to happen automatically. Our mission is to offer a global high school experience with each lesson designed to inspire REAL education in the locations we visit.
Joe Mei, Director
“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”
—Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw
Every teacher I know DESPISES this quotation because they are haunted by the fact that it might be true. I don’t believe this is true for good teachers. What good teachers “do” is accept a commitment to help shape the lives of our future generation. What good teachers ‘do’ is help connect their students to their passion and their calling. What good teachers “do” is lead, challenge, and MENTOR students to be the best they can be. That is their craft.
In the Odyssey, when Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he placed his son Telemachus in the care of his old friend, Mentor. Mentor played an essential role in guiding Telemachus in the ways of the world and developing his character so that he would grow to be a responsible adult and leader of Ithaca. By accepting this role, Mentor made a commitment to provide diligent, consistent guidance.
At MEI, we only choose those teachers who are willing to make this same commitment, because when you step outside the classroom into the REAL world it is an incredible Odyssey that requires a dedicated mentor.
Each day our teachers step into a different classroom. Whether it be the Colosseum in Rome, the Notre Dame in Paris, or Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, our classrooms are limitless. Wherever it is, I know that we have crafted connections to the past, present and future while guiding students on the most fulfilling educational adventure of their lives. What most educators and students dream about—we’ve been doing for over 20 years.
Our mission this year is to bring this experience to more people than ever. By partnering with school boards across North America, we will channel the brightest and most committed teachers to mentor our future leaders.
I have a quotation of my own that I’ve been saying since 1997, “If you want to teach about the real world, you have to be in the real world.”
Course Accreditation and Curriculum
MEI offers Ministry-accredited courses that are accredited by the Upper Grand District School Board. These course credits will appear on students’ academic records and can be used for university entrance. Our academic advisors work with students’ home schools to ensure that courses meet their curriculum standards and that students are well prepared when applying to universities around the world.
- Ontario students will receive Ontario Ministry of Education course accreditation through the Upper Grand District School Board.
- Students from schools outside of Ontario may have the academic courses accredited by their individual schools or local school boards.
Course Credit Details
All course curriculum is developed by MEI Academy and the Upper Grand District School Board. Specific course curricula and prerequisites are available under each course’s description.
Upper Grand District School Board
The Upper Grand District School Board is located in Guelph, Ontario, and operates high schools in Guelph and surrounding areas. The partnership between MEI and the Upper Grand District School Board provides students and teachers
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The Best Practices for Learning
For over a decade, Upper Grand and MEI have been recognized as leaders in international education. Education outside the four walls of a classroom is not our hobby—it is our profession and our passion. Our full-time craft and trade is designing academic lessons that complement the sites we visit. At MEI, we know that knowledge and experience go hand-in-hand. Creating that balance is what we do best.
Information is everywhere. Students have access to the best textbooks, podcasts, and information at our fingertips. What we provide are expert teachers, guides and mentors to help them navigate through the waters of Big Data and misinformation chooses teachers from the best schools across Canada to design, curate, and execute a curriculum that will Motivate, Educate, and Inspire students to excel.
Knowledge without experience is limited. Learning begins when knowledge comes alive, and that is why our itinerary infuses the locations we travel to with the academics we study. Each day is a learning adventure that can only be implemented by highly-skilled and trained teachers. Each course unit is driven by lessons to help students perform at their best.
Action needs to be balanced with reflection. We believe that knowledge and experience require analysis and reflection in order to get the optimal benefit of that knowledge and experience. Each course is designed to challenge students to develop their own educational philosophy through opinion and responsive exercises, curated activities, meaningful conversations, independent study units and personal reflections.
At MEI, we give our students the TIME to work. The traditional school year only allows for summer jobs or part time employment. Employers and universities see value in job experience, so MEI designed its Term programs to afford students the time to travel, learn and work. Many students enrol in a Term program, earn three courses, and then work for three months before going back to their home school or another MEI Term.
We believe the best conceived plans need exceptional leaders to execute them. Our unique learning environment requires that our teachers possess extensive knowledge in their subject area and excel in the use of contemporary teaching methods. It has taken over 20 years of travelling and teaching to summon together the finest teachers. Staff are selected based on their academic knowledge, travel experience and, most importantly, their passion for teaching young adults.
As a testament to how the MEI experience impacts students, many alumni return as faculty members after completing their university degrees. They return wanting to give back what they received as students.
Students and parents will have an opportunity to meet the staff and teachers at a pre-departure meeting held before each trip begins.