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.
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Travel from Paris to a French border community and then to a neighboring country as you explore regional cultures and identities. This high school summer abroad program commences with an immersive introduction to French history and culture in Paris. Visit famous sites and museums — such as the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, or Louvre — throughout the city. Explore diverse neighborhoods, navigate the metro, and sample French cuisine in street-side cafés as you deepen your understanding of Parisian culture and the city’s role within France.
Following orientation, travel with your group to a community in southern France near the Italian border or, alternatively, to a French community near the German border. Become fully immersed in the daily life of a French family during a twelve-day homestay. Take advantage of the opportunity — afforded by the homestay — to study French and to gain a unique glimpse into French life and culture.
After saying goodbye to your host family, cross the French border with your group into either Italy or Germany to explore the landscapes and culture of a French neighbor. Whether you’re strolling through picturesque villages in Alsace, exploring the French Riviera, or visiting beautiful Cinque Terre on the Mediterranean, you gain deeper insight into the diversity of France and the culture of an adjacent country.
Orientation: Paris, 2–4 days
Homestay: Saint-Raphaël or Nice (near the Italian border) or Saint-Dié-des-Vosges or Nancy (near the German Border), 11–12 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels
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Experience the natural beauty of Argentina through a month of cultural immersion, outdoor activities, and community service. Begin your high school summer abroad in Argentina’s capital, where you and your group will explore the city’s art galleries, theaters, and boulevards and start 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'll 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 to renovate an orphanage or kindergarten. Study Spanish in language classes with other members of your group and learn about local gaucho culture. Go hiking or white-water rafting. Continue on to the small town of Chicoana, just south of the city of Salta, where you'll assist on service learning activities such as painting or landscaping.
Then, embark on a week of outdoor exploration with your group and leaders. Ride horseback, stay on a large ranch, and enjoy traditional barbeque. Travel through the mountains to the city of Cafayate, stopping at famous rock formations. In Cafayate, take a bike tour of the city and then ride to the sand dunes. Return to Buenos Aires for a final day of exploration and reflection.
Orientation: Buenos Aires, 4 days
Homestay: Salta,* 14 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, campsite, hostels