Botswana: Wildlife, Ecology, and Culture

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Botswana: Wildlife, Ecology, and Culture

Please visit our website for more information. Travel to one of Africa’s last great wilderness areas — the Kalahari Desert — and the lush marshes, rivers, and islands that make up the Okavango Delta. Experience Botswana’s big game and complex ecosystems and its traditional cultures and contemporary life. Visit wildlife and nature reserves, go on game drives, camp in the wilds of Chobe National Park, and spend multiple days at Mokolodi Nature Reserve. As part of the program’s eco-travel component and camping safari, your group travels across the Kalahari and into the Okavango Delta, which is teeming with wildebeest, elephants, zebras, hippos, lions, and numerous other species. During this excursion, learn to paddle a mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, while learning about the plants and animals of this inland waterway from local guides. In addition to its numerous outdoor components, this high school summer abroad program includes a two-week homestay in a rural village, which fully immerses you in the daily life of a Balete family and community. During this time, your group might undertake day trips to nearby villages or visit a diamond mine. You'll also participate in a community service project such as helping to renovate a village school or building a community vegetable garden. To help you gain comparative perspectives on rural versus urban life, the program spends multiple days in the capital, Gaborone. Visit the city’s markets and cultural sites, explore Botswana’s history, and learn introductory Setswana through the program’s survival language classes. Orientation: Gaborone, 4–5 days Homestay: Otse or Mmankgodi, 21–23 days Other Accommodations: Hotels, lodges, cabins and/or campsites

Subjects

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Community Service

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Spain: Contemporary and Historic Cultural Diversity

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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.

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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

Experiment In International Living

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Mexico: Marine Biology on the Baja Peninsula

Please visit our website for more information. Spend a summer abroad experiencing different marine environments and regional cultures as you travel from the coastal city of La Paz — situated between desert mountains and the Gulf of California — to the Yucatán Peninsula on this program for high school students. Meet with marine biologists, researchers, and guides in La Paz. Learn about the history of human and animal habitation in the peninsula. Snorkel among coral reefs, observing sea lions in their natural habitats, on the beautiful island of Espíritu Santo, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. During this period, you live with a Mexican family, which opens up amazing windows into Mexican culture. Take advantage of continuous opportunities for Spanish language study while experiencing the region’s incredible natural environments and regional culture with host family members. As the program moves to the Yucatán in southeastern Mexico — from desert to jungle — you experience a completely different natural environment. Learn about pearl farming on the island of Cozumel and witness ongoing ecosystem restoration efforts through the installation of artificial reefs. Take a late-night beach walk to watch giant sea turtles laying eggs on the sand. Travel to Akumal beach for a guided snorkel excursion with sea turtles and manta rays. Witness the region’s strong Maya cultural influence, and visit the Maya archaeological ruins at Coba or Tulum. 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, Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María, or Frida Kahlo Museum, or take a walking tour of the old city. Orientation: Mexico City, 3–4 days Homestay: La Paz, 11–12 days Other Accommodations: Hotels, eco-lodge, ranch

Experiment In International Living

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