A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

Global Studies

Through global studies, students develop a deep understanding of other perspectives and of themselves.

Through its Global Studies program, Rye Country Day School prepares students to participate actively and ethically as global citizens. Through the study of world languages and cultures, global travel programs, and opportunities to learn and share about the diverse backgrounds represented in the RCDS community, students develop an understanding of the world around them and their place within it. 

The global studies program fosters a comprehensive understanding of world cultures, natural environments, and social and political systems. This is built on observing the interconnection between individuals, systems, and how one’s actions affect and are affected by those of others. This awareness prepares students to make meaningful contributions to the broader community with a deep sense of respect and appreciation for diverse perspectives, cultures, people, and environments. 

Travel Programs

RCDS arranges 2-3 global experiences each year. Our goal is for every student to have the opportunity to learn from a global experience during their high school years. Recent programs have included exploring border issues in El Paso, environmental issues in Iceland, extending learning of Classics languages in Sicily, civil rights history in the American South, and more. Hear from students and faculty about their experiences below.


RCDS is an active member of the Independent Schools Experiential Education Network (ISEEN). Learn more.

The 17 Global Goals

RCDS has adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Global Goals. Learn more at globalgoals.org.

Director of global studies

Dan Murray


Global Studies in the Curriculum

Lower School

Students begin to develop their understanding of the world, first through learning about themselves, their families, and their friends and then about their school, their community, and, finally, the world at large. From learning about fellow classmates in Pre-K and about homes around the world in Kindergarten to exploring geography, immigration, global water conservation, the United Nations in Grades 1 through 4, our students enjoy learning about the world through field trips, books, interactive projects, and globally-focused units. Starting in second grade, students study French or Spanish and learn about the cultural traditions of the languages’ speakers.


Middle School

Middle School students learn about advocacy and gain the building blocks of how to be active, global citizens. From studying languages, religions, and world history to attending presentations and panels featuring outside speakers and reading international texts, students experience a curriculum that reflects global experiences and forms a foundation of awareness and engaged global citizenship. Students examine how they can be active advocates in the global landscape through partnership with organizations, peers, and schools. They identify and learn about causes and organizations working within the global space, and they make critical connections that both understand and transcend borders. 


Upper School

Interdisciplinary travel programs provide extensive opportunities for students to learn about new places and people. The new connections that students make through the experiential benefits of travel build awareness. Global concepts are woven in the Upper School curriculum across disciplines, from language courses to literature and coding. Speakers, clubs, and a discussion group around school-sponsored travel experiences, summer enrichment programs, and personal travel are a few of the opportunities available to students. Students apply problem solving and critical analysis skills to thinking about how to effect change in specific global issues. They are encouraged to identify complex, world problems and then to try to solve them. RCDS Upper Schoolers graduate with global knowledge and skills, ready and eager to be active and ethical world citizens.