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.
Compare and contrast different marine environments and regional cultures as you travel to the coastal city of La Paz—situated between desert mountains and the Gulf of California—and to the Yucatán Peninsula on this program for high school students. Meet with researchers and guides, and work closely with a marine biologist who will join your group in both locations. Learn about the history of human and animal habitation on the Baja peninsula and kayak along the coast. Snorkel among coral reefs, observing sea lions in their natural habitats, on the beautiful island of Espíritu Santo, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
In the Yucatán in southeastern Mexico, you will experience a completely different natural environment—desert vs. jungle. Learn about pearl farming on the island of Cozumel and witness ongoing ecosystem restoration efforts on a visit to a research center. Take a late-night beach walk to watch giant sea turtles laying eggs in the sand. Travel to Akumal beach for a guided snorkeling excursion with sea turtles and manta rays. Discover the region’s strong Maya cultural influence, and visit the Maya archaeological ruins at Coba or Tulum.
During your homestay, you will live with a Mexican family, which will open amazing windows into Mexican culture. Take advantage of continuous opportunities to practice your Spanish while exploring the region’s incredible natural environments and regional culture with host family members.
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, the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María, or the Frida Kahlo Museum, or take a walking tour of the old city.
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.