Gain hands-on experience with diverse ecological systems and natural resource preservation through a culturally immersive high school summer abroad program in Vietnam. As you travel from the country’s bustling capital city to mangrove forests, the Central Highland, jungle and coastal areas, and the Mekong Delta, acquire firsthand knowledge of Vietnam’s ecology while discovering the threats, including climate change and development pressures, impacting Vietnam’s natural environments and indigenous communities.
During your excursion to the mangrove forests in Can Gio, canoe down the Dong Nai River and observe monkeys and birds in their natural habitats. Visit the Gibbon primate center, and learn about conservation efforts and challenges at Cat Tien National Park, home to mammals such as Asian elephants, sun bears, gaur, and many smaller species. Receive seminars on climate change and the environment, and visit the floating markets on Mekong River. Explore marine ecology on the beautiful island of Phu Quoc, of significant economic, scientific and environmental value, boasting numerous coral reefs and seagrass beds. Take advantage of ongoing, dynamic experiential learning opportunities — while biking, snorkeling, and trekking.
Through homestays and field visits to cultural and historical sites, you gain critical knowledge of Vietnam’s history and contemporary life. Visit Cu Chi Tunnel, one of the longest underground tunnels from the Vietnam War, and spend time at local NGOs working to advance the quality of life of vulnerable people and communities. Become immersed in the daily lives of two Vietnamese families during homestays in the capital city and Da Lat. Study Vietnamese language and cooking, and participate in a community service project, such as building a biogas system or teaching English to children, during the program’s rural stay in Hoa An village. Learn about the indigenous traditions of the Lach ethnic group in the Central Highland, and have seminars on Vietnamese folk music and Zen meditation. The program begins and concludes in Ho Chi Minh City.
Orientation: Ho Chi Minh City, 3 days
Homestay: Ho Chi Minh City, 6 days; Da Lat City (Central Highlands), 3 days
Other Accommodations: University dormitory, educational institute, hotels
Rapidly improve your Spanish through a month of immersive language study and historical and contemporary exploration through Spain. Begin your month of language immersion in Spain’s capital — Madrid — as you spend time at the city’s famous sites and museums, explore its neighborhoods, and sample Spanish cuisine. Then, travel to southern Spain, to the province of Andalucía, where you will engage in intensive Spanish language training.
This high school summer abroad program has two separate language groups. One group has Spanish training in the historic city of Granada, where, for four hours each day, the group attends small-group, interactive language classes divided by language level at the Centro de Lenguas y Educación Intercultural. Learn inside and outside the classroom through music, film, city scavenger hunts, and field trips. After class, take advantage of opportunities to meet up with Spanish students learning English and join them for sporting or cultural events. The program’s other group has language classes and immersive arts training in Guadix. This group participates in workshops focused on flamenco, ceramics, theatrical performance, and other arts, in addition to the language training. In Guadix, there are opportunities to learn about Romani culture and Gitano identity and to perform flamenco and traditional village dances with local community members.
Both groups explore Granada’s sites — including the Alhambra, city gardens, and local museums — to better understand the city’s historical layers and contemporary culture. All students also have a homestay in an Andalusian town. Enjoy family meals and visit local markets, beaches, and cafés as you continue to enhance your Spanish through constant conversation with host family members. The program incorporates some outdoor activities such as camping, trekking, and excursions to the beach. Students return to Madrid for final reflection and language practice before departing for home.
Language Certificate: At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.
Orientation: Madrid, 3 days
Homestay: Guadix, Priego, or Motril, 10–12 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, student residence, camping lodge
PO Box 676
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
PO Box 676