Gain hands-on experience with diverse ecological systems and natural resource preservation through a culturally immersive high school summer abroad program in Vietnam. As you travel from the country’s bustling capital city to mangrove forests, the Central Highland, jungle and coastal areas, and the Mekong Delta, acquire firsthand knowledge of Vietnam’s ecology while discovering the threats, including climate change and development pressures, impacting Vietnam’s natural environments and indigenous communities.
During your excursion to the mangrove forests in Can Gio, canoe down the Dong Nai River and observe monkeys and birds in their natural habitats. Visit the Gibbon primate center, and learn about conservation efforts and challenges at Cat Tien National Park, home to mammals such as Asian elephants, sun bears, gaur, and many smaller species. Receive seminars on climate change and the environment, and visit the floating markets on Mekong River. Explore marine ecology on the beautiful island of Phu Quoc, of significant economic, scientific and environmental value, boasting numerous coral reefs and seagrass beds. Take advantage of ongoing, dynamic experiential learning opportunities — while biking, snorkeling, and trekking.
Through homestays and field visits to cultural and historical sites, you gain critical knowledge of Vietnam’s history and contemporary life. Visit Cu Chi Tunnel, one of the longest underground tunnels from the Vietnam War, and spend time at local NGOs working to advance the quality of life of vulnerable people and communities. Become immersed in the daily lives of two Vietnamese families during homestays in the capital city and Da Lat. Study Vietnamese language and cooking, and participate in a community service project, such as building a biogas system or teaching English to children, during the program’s rural stay in Hoa An village. Learn about the indigenous traditions of the Lach ethnic group in the Central Highland, and have seminars on Vietnamese folk music and Zen meditation. The program begins and concludes in Ho Chi Minh City.
Orientation: Ho Chi Minh City, 3 days
Homestay: Ho Chi Minh City, 6 days; Da Lat City (Central Highlands), 3 days
Other Accommodations: University dormitory, educational institute, hotels
PO Box 676
Trace the historical and cultural influences of Spain’s different religious and ethnic communities while traveling from Madrid to Spain’s southern coast, then to Basque country in the north and ultimately to Catalonia. Learn about the coexistence of Christians, Jews, and Muslims from historical perspectives, and discuss the conditions necessary to fostering a tolerant, multicultural society in Spain today. Consider key issues presently being debated across Spain, such as those related to immigration, environmental conservation, community development, peace, and human rights.
Your high school summer abroad in Spain commences with an immersive orientation in Madrid and Toledo. Visit famous sites and museums throughout the capital, including the Prado museum and the Bourbon district. Explore Madrid’s diverse neighborhoods, meet with Spanish youth at a Jewish community center, and study Spanish language and practice it with locals. Alongside a group of Spanish youth, visit famous sites and museums throughout Toledo, including the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. Become better acquainted with the historical and cultural influences important in laying the groundwork for multiculturalism and tolerance in Spain.
Following orientation, live with a host family in a small community along Spain’s southern coast. Visit Arab baths and Roman ruins. Relax on the beach with members of your host family or Experiment group. Following the homestay, you travel to Basque country for a week of regional exploration in the north; activities include community service in the mornings and cultural exchanges with local teenagers in the afternoons. Your journey through multicultural Spain concludes with a stay in the heart of Catalonia. Visit famous sites and museums throughout Barcelona, including the Olympic Harbor and the Picasso Museum. See the architecture of Gaudí and sample tapas on La Rambla, as your knowledge of and experience with Spain’s diverse communities and cultures further deepens.
Orientation: Madrid and Toledo, 3 days
Homestay: Arcos de la Frontera, 11 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
PO Box 676