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.
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.
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.