Argentina: Community Service and the Great Outdoors
Experience the natural beauty of Argentina through a month of cultural immersion, outdoor activities, and community service. Begin your Experiment in Argentina’s capital, where your group will explore the city’s art galleries, theaters, and boulevards and begin 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 will 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 renovate an orphanage or kindergarten. Participate in Spanish language classes with other members of your group and learn about local gaucho culture. Go white-water rafting or hike to a traditional ranch, where you will learn how to rope cattle. Continue on to the small town of Chicoana, just south of the city of Salta, where you will assist in service activities such as painting or landscaping.
Then, embark on a week of outdoor exploration with your group and leaders. Go horseback riding, camp out on a large ranch, and enjoy traditional barbecue. Travel through the mountains to the city of Cafayate, stopping at famous rock formations. In Cafayate, take a bike tour of the city and hike the beautiful surrounding areas. Return to Buenos Aires for a final day of exploration and reflection.
Take an immersive journey through urban and rural landscapes of Thailand on this high school summer abroad program. Experience the cultural sights, markets, and ancient temples of major Thai cities; live with host families in rural villages; participate in community service projects organized by local organizations; and explore northern Thailand by foot and raft. Learn introductory Thai through formal and informal language instruction and through time with host family members and others.
The program begins in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, home to hundreds of ancient temples and surrounded by mountains. Visit the city’s famous sites and museums and explore bustling street markets and Buddhist temples as you get to know the other members of your group. As your Thai journey continues, you will live with a Kon Muang host family in a lowland northern Thai village in Chiang Mai province and then with a Lisu host family in a hill tribe village in Chiang Rai province. Join host family members and others in working on a service project, such as helping to build a natural water dam or assisting with reforestation work, depending on the needs of the village community. Other service opportunities could include teaching English to young children.
Experience the northern region’s tropical valleys and highlands as you participate in outdoor activities such as trekking, zip lining, rafting, and visiting an elephant park. Conclude your Thailand exploration in Bangkok—visiting sites of cultural and historical importance, such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha—and the seaside town of Hua Hin.
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.