Experience the rich cultural diversity of China on a high school study abroad program that will introduce you to remote ethnic minority cultures in China, including Miao, Dong, Buyi, and Zhuang communities. Learn about the history of these cultures and current government policies affecting these minority communities. Spend time in the beautiful and remote rural landscape of southern China. You will be introduced to field plowing and rice production and will learn about traditional crafts and trades such as papermaking, watercolor painting, batik, embroidery, weaving, and blacksmithing. Contrast daily life in rural communities with life in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Luoyang, and Xi’an.
Begin your exploration of China’s cultures in the capital city, Beijing, where you’ll see important sites such as Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall. Next, discover the rich history of Luoyang, one of the four great ancient capitals of China. Visit temples and learn about the history of Buddhism in China. Spend time in Xi’an, one of China’s oldest cities. Take Chinese language lessons and see important historical and cultural sites, including the famous Terra-Cotta Warriors. Two homestay experiences—one in a city and one in a rural village—will allow you to experience daily life in China in very different contexts.
Throughout the program, you’ll attend performances of traditional dancing and singing and see stunning natural sites such as Huangguoshu Waterfall National Park and Moon Hill. End your experience in China with three days of exploration and reflection in Shanghai, where you will visit a number of important sites such as Yuyuan Garden, Old City, Longhua Temple, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Nanjing Road, and The Bund. Chinese high school students will accompany you during portion of the program.
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Spend a summer abroad experiencing different marine environments and regional cultures as you travel from the coastal city of La Paz — situated between desert mountains and the Gulf of California — to the Yucatán Peninsula on this program for high school students. Meet with marine biologists, researchers, and guides in La Paz. Learn about the history of human and animal habitation in the peninsula. Snorkel among coral reefs, observing sea lions in their natural habitats, on the beautiful island of Espíritu Santo, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. During this period, you live with a Mexican family, which opens up amazing windows into Mexican culture. Take advantage of continuous opportunities for Spanish language study while experiencing the region’s incredible natural environments and regional culture with host family members.
As the program moves to the Yucatán in southeastern Mexico — from desert to jungle — you experience a completely different natural environment. Learn about pearl farming on the island of Cozumel and witness ongoing ecosystem restoration efforts through the installation of artificial reefs. Take a late-night beach walk to watch giant sea turtles laying eggs on the sand. Travel to Akumal beach for a guided snorkel excursion with sea turtles and manta rays. Witness the region’s strong Maya cultural influence, and visit the Maya archaeological ruins at Coba or Tulum.
The program begins and ends in Mexico City, giving you time to deepen your knowledge of Mexico’s culture, history, and food from the vantage point of the country’s expansive capital city. Visit the Zócalo, Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María, or Frida Kahlo Museum, or take a walking tour of the old city.
Orientation: Mexico City, 3–4 days
Homestay: La Paz, 11–12 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, eco-lodge, ranch
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Embark on a culinary and language journey through France on a high school summer abroad program. Explore multiple regions of the country known for their culinary specialties. Learn about French cheeses, sweets, and pastries. Take culinary classes at a cooking school such as the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon. Engage with professional chefs, meet with farmers and producers, visit local markets, and learn how to cook local recipes such as macarons and nougat.
Study French during a week of formal language instruction. Put your language skills to use during the program’s homestay, which ranges from 11 to 16 days depending on the length of the program.
The program begins and ends in Paris, giving you time to explore France’s beautiful and historic capital. Together with your group, join local residents in a café for a morning croissant before navigating the streets of Paris to the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, or Louvre. Sample traditional baguettes, cheeses, and local specialties and enjoy a picnic on the Seine’s famous left bank. Explore the Montmartre art district beneath the spires of Sacré Coeur and dine at tiny cafés that serve regional specialties from across France.
Format Options: This program is offered in three-week and four-week formats. Please see program duration and date options to the right for more details.
Language Certificate: Students who complete the four-week program will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.
Orientation: Paris, 2–4 days
Homestay: Les Baux de Provence, Pierrelatte, Vannes, Saint malo, Nantes, or Blois, 11–16 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, manior (manor)