Discover the environmental and cultural diversity of Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. On this high school summer abroad program, explore contemporary opportunities and challenges facing Brazil, particularly in the areas of sustainability and environmental conservation, while experiencing many of Brazil’s different cultures and communities. Visit coastlines, mountains, and forests to see the unique species inhabiting some of the most biodiverse locations in the southern hemisphere.
Cananéia, a historic coastal town founded in the sixteenth century, will be your base for exploring the Atlantic Forest, home to diverse species, many of which are endemic to the area. Visit fishing villages and trek through the forest and pristine beaches of Cardoso Island State Park. Spend time in an indigenous Caiçara community and quilombo communities, originally formed in the nineteenth century by escaped slaves. Learn about conservation and sustainability efforts in the area.
A 13-day homestay, which will allow you to become part of a Brazilian family, will take place in Monte Alegre do Sul, a town nestled within the Mantiqueira mountain range. Share in the daily activities of your host family. Start learning Portuguese and practice your new language skills over home-cooked meals. See colonial architecture while strolling down cobblestone streets and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains while sipping coffee in local cafés. Visit nearby waterfalls and mountain forests and see toucans and parakeets in their natural habitats. During the program, you and your group will participate in community service projects.
Experience the differences in regions and cultures across Spain on this high school summer abroad program. Your journey begins with an immersive orientation in Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid. Immediately begin practicing your Spanish as you navigate the city’s medieval streets, visit the Prado Museum on Madrid’s “museum mile,” order tapas and other Spanish cuisine in local cafés, and visit the Habsburg district. Take a full-day excursion to historic Toledo as your knowledge of Spain’s history and culture deepens.
Then, experience an entirely different region of Spain as you and your group travel from Madrid to your homestay location. Spend two weeks immersed in a Spanish community as you come to experience Spain’s regional differences. Your Spanish language skills grow through study and daily interactions with your host family. Take day trips to explore the surrounding area with your Experiment group. Participate in flamenco classes, attend workshops with a local NGO that works with youth, and learn how to cook regional specialties. The homestay community varies each year.
Your exploration of Spain’s cultures and regional differences continues as you and your group travel to Barcelona — Spain’s second largest city and the capital of Catalonia. Visit Barcelona’s numerous World Heritage sites, parks, the Picasso Museum, and the Olympic Harbor. See the architecture of Gaudí, taste tapas on La Rambla, and get introduced to the regional language of Catalan. Return to Madrid for a final day of exploration and reflection.
Orientation: Madrid, 3 days Homestays: Valencia, Vilagarcia (Galicia), Ubeda (Andalucía), or Logrono (La Rioja), 13 days Other Accommodations: Hotels and apartments
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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