Photo: Lisa Reisman
Photo: Lisa Reisman

Fordham Prep, a top-rated Jesuit high school in the Bronx, is taking global education to a new level.

That’s only natural, with a network of 827 Jesuit schools worldwide, numbering 900,000 students in 70 countries in six regions.

The all-boys school’s global education program, which offers exchanges with schools in Ireland, Milan, Italy; Australia, Rwanda, and Tanzania, “aims to connect our students to that network,” said Brian Carney, VP for Mission Integration and Planning.

Consistent with that aim are cultural and academic immersions like ecological trips to Costa Rica, Belize, and Hawaii, an elephant conservation trip to Thailand, a medical mission to Guatemala, and a classical studies trip to Rome.

 Photo: Lisa Reisman
Photo: Lisa Reisman


It’s all of a piece with the larger mission of Fordham Prep, which was founded in 1841, “to raise student awareness of the world outside their own environment through the exploration of different and diverse cultures in the world community,” as its website reads.

Living with host families and going to Jesuit schools, Carney said, “will prepare students  to respect and value diversity, to communicate effectively at a global level, and to develop the skills necessary to thrive in an interconnected world.”

In the four years the program has been in place, the results have been stunning.

“For many of our students, it’s life-changing,” Carney said. “They develop relationships with other students that last many years.”

 Photo: Lisa Reisman
Photo: Lisa Reisman

The global education program isn’t a one-way trip. “We’re also bringing the world to our school,” said Carney, with a group of international students shadowing their Fordham Prep cohorts, and a new global education conferencing center fully equipped with state-of-the-art video equipment and smart boards to facilitate virtual exchange with their classes.

In keeping with one of the primary aims of the global education program—to develop empathy and respect, and acceptance of differences—is the uniquely diverse population of Fordham Prep’s student body.

The students come from 101 different zip codes in Connecticut, Westchester, the Bronx, and Manhattan. Nearly forty percent identify as students of color.

 Photo: Lisa Reisman
Photo: Lisa Reisman

“They’re already being exposed to diversity in their everyday interactions,” Carney said. “They’re having that experience every day in the classroom.”

There’s also a sense of community that begins in freshman year, with first-year students providing direct service to people in need with their mentor groups, and upperclassmen serving as big brothers to underclassmen to promote a sense of belonging in the Fordham Prep community.

“Students and parents will tell you that one of the things they love about Fordham Prep is the fact that they feel at home here, they feel cared for,” Carney said.

That’s in no small part due to a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 and a faculty that “takes a real interest in their students,” as Carney put it, as well as a high academic standard that has students posting a 100 percent graduation rate, with over 60 percent attending  colleges and universities labeled by Barron’s as “most selective”.

Many of those students, thanks to Fordham Prep’s global education program, will be well on their way to flourishing in the interconnected and diverse world in which they’ll live and work.

To learn more about the Fordham Prep experience, visit the school at their Open House on Thursday, October 17, from 6-8 p.m. or on Sunday, November 3, from 1-4 p.m.

For more information, visit fordhamprep.org/admissions