Experience nomadic culture, ancient traditions, and contemporary issues in Mongolia on this high school summer abroad program. Participate in the daily life of a nomadic pastoral community and discover how nomadic traditions inform life in urban areas. Visit important Buddhist pilgrimage sites, take lessons in traditional Mongolian arts, and learn how to live in a ger—a round, felt-lined tent. At the famous Naadam festival, the biggest national festival in Mongolia, observe competitions in horsemanship, wrestling, and archery.
During your orientation in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, you’ll experience urban Mongolia, take lessons in throat singing and morin khuur playing, and begin your Mongolian language study. In the mountainous Hovsgol province, complete a community service project such as painting or teaching English to local students. Trek on horseback to the ancient, pristine Lake Hovsgol, the second largest freshwater lake in Asia.
Next, the program will take you to Mongolia’s open grasslands to experience rural life during a homestay with a nomadic pastoral herder family. Help your host family tend livestock and learn from them how to cook traditional meals, prepare various dairy products, and ride horseback. Your Mongolia Experiment will draw to a close at the edge of the Gobi Desert, where you’ll see Buddhist temples and meditation caves and learn about Danzan Ravjaa, known as the Lama of the Gobi, at the important pilgrimage site Hamriin Hiid. Venture into the desert on camels and spend the night sleeping in a ger under the desert sky.
Please visit our website for more information.
Delve into the creative arts in Nicaragua and Cuba and examine how people in both countries have used the arts to promote social transformations. In Nicaragua, where this immersive high school summer abroad program is based, experience daily life and culture from several different perspectives. Live with a host family in the working-class Máximo Jérez neighborhood of Managua, where supporters of the Sandinista Revolution lived during the 1980s. Witness how Nicaraguans today are using the arts for economic sustainability and to express their aspirations for the future. Participate in workshops and visit artists’ studios and communities as you learn about art, poetry, and music as mediums for social change.
Stay in the coffee-producing rural community of San Ramón, in the mountains outside of Matagalpa. While there, experience a second homestay, with a campesino family, and witness the campo-city differences in Nicaragua. Visit a coffee cooperative, and hike through the lush vegetation of this cloud-covered area. Create “socio-dramas” with members of a community organization, make jewelry with seeds, take a poetry workshop, and learn how to prepare multiple dishes incorporating exotic fruits from Nicaragua.
Your journey continues as you travel with your group to Cuba. Learn about Cuba’s significance in Latin American history and the multiple connections between Cuba and Nicaragua. Spend a comparative week in the city of Havana exploring the arts in a different social and cultural context. Visit associations of young artists and African-Cuban community-based arts centers. Participate in a community workshop transformation project (Talleres de Transformación), and dialog with Cubans about their aspirations. Learn about Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba at his home in Cojímar and visit other historical sites in Old Havana.
Orientation: Managua, 3 days
Homestay: Managua, 10 days; San Ramon, Matagalpa,* 7 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
Please visit our website for more information.
Experience the natural beauty of Argentina through a month of cultural immersion, outdoor activities, and community service. Begin your high school summer abroad in Argentina’s capital, where you and your group will explore the city’s art galleries, theaters, and boulevards and start practicing your Spanish. Sail by catamaran to the city’s surrounding islands to learn about the region’s ecology and biosystems.
From Buenos Aires, travel to colonial Salta La Linda, capital of the Salta province, on Argentina’s northern frontier, where you'll spend two weeks sharing day-to-day life with an Argentine host family. During this period, work on a community service project such as volunteering at a center for children with developmental disabilities or helping to renovate an orphanage or kindergarten. Study Spanish in language classes with other members of your group and learn about local gaucho culture. Go hiking or white-water rafting. Continue on to the small town of Chicoana, just south of the city of Salta, where you'll assist on service learning activities such as painting or landscaping.
Then, embark on a week of outdoor exploration with your group and leaders. Ride horseback, stay on a large ranch, and enjoy traditional barbeque. Travel through the mountains to the city of Cafayate, stopping at famous rock formations. In Cafayate, take a bike tour of the city and then ride to the sand dunes. Return to Buenos Aires for a final day of exploration and reflection.
Orientation: Buenos Aires, 4 days
Homestay: Salta,* 14 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, campsite, hostels