Traveling with MKA abroad was an empowering experience ... It has allowed me to embrace the differences between many different cultures and gain a greater understanding of the world we live in today - Photeine Lambridis '14
The below trip descriptions are a guideline of what may be offered during a student’s time at the Upper School. We invite our students to be active members in the trip development process in all phases. For more information about any individual trip or about potential offerings, please email the Director of Global Experience, Cortland Bosc.
- SERVICE IN GUATEMALA
- WILDERNESS FIRST AID AND BACKPACKING
- FRENCH LANGUAGE PROGRAM
- EXPLORATION OF ROMAN HISTORY AND LATIN LANGUAGE IN ITALY
- MIDDLE SCHOOL WORLD LANGUAGE TRAVEL
"Though our languages were different, we communicated with a humanness, with a smile or a point, with a handshake or a hug." Preston Park '13
Open to all students who wish to extend their community-service experiences beyond the classroom, MKA sponsors service trips every year. Students who participate in this trip will travel to Antigua, Guatemala and will likely use their language skills in real-life situations as they construct homes for local villagers. All students will have the opportunity to communicate with and interact with local villagers for whom we build. As participants, students forge personal connections through the sweat equity every member of the Build-team provides to the job at hand. Students participate at every level of the process, from clearing land to digging foundations, mixing concrete to mortaring with re-bar and blocks, and setting scaffolding to roof placement. Often through the organizations with whom we volunteer, students have opportunities to volunteer in schools within the community and/or with a local healthcare clinic. Students also participate in two field trips that allow for unique geographical and/or historical experiences. Trips are generally 8 days in length and take place during the first week of Spring Recess.
This years trip will consist of 2 days of Wilderness First Aid Training as well as a 5 day, 4 night backcountry hiking experience on California’s Lost Coast. It will end with a day in San Francisco to explore one of the U.S.’s most iconic cities. Adventures Cross Country will organize the logistics for the on the ground portion of our trip and will provide us with a certified Wilderness First Responder as our backcountry guide for each 12 students traveling. The trip hopes to provide students with a chance to develop leadership skills and provide students with confidence in their ability to explore the outdoors as well as be certified providers of first aid and CPR in that environment.
"The Québec trip was an amazing opportunity to experience new culture, spend time with friends and simply have a good time." Drew Crichlow '15
One of the most rewarding aspects of language study is the chance to use the skills learned in the classroom and experience another culture in an authentic setting. To that end, the French students at MKA have the opportunity to participate in two trips in a typical four-year high school career to practice their French and become acquainted with two small corners of the vast French-speaking world. First, French students have the opportunity to be part of an exchange program in Paris. During Spring Break students will stay with host families, explore the educational environment as well as immerse themselves into Parisian culture. Secondly, in alternating years MKA will offer a short five-day excursion to Québec, during the first week of Spring Break. This trip is designed to expose students to a flavor of Québécois culture and history at the time of year that Québec is at it’s most beautiful—winter! In most years, this trip also coincides with the Carnaval de Québec, the largest winter carnival in North America.
"The Italy trip will probably be one of the defining moments of my junior and high school career ... This experience will stay with me for a very long time." Spencer Turkington '14
Andiamo in Italia! Students spend the first week of spring break in Italy visiting many of the major sites, as well as a few lesser known locales, associated either with the rise of Rome and the Roman Republic (in Rome and Tuscany) or with the Roman Empire and the fall of Rome (in Rome and Campania). The trip is intended to provide a small number of students with a unique opportunity to enrich their knowledge about ancient Rome and the ancient Mediterranean world. All students are eligible to participate, but preference will be given to those currently enrolled in Latin. In anticipation of the trip, students will complete a series of assigned readings in order to ensure that they are properly prepared both to appreciate and to enjoy this special adventure.
The biennial trip to France is open to 7th and 8th grade French students. This educational trip gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture as they spend a week in Paris and Nice. Students will spend a weekend in Paris touring the famous cultural sites, before heading south to finish the week in Nice with day trips to Cannes, Eze and Montecarlo, Monaco. Students will attend French classes at the École France Langue in Nice in the morning and attend cultural excursions in the afternoons and evenings.
The annual trip to Spain gives 8th grade Spanish students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Spanish culture as they spend a week in Salamanca and its surroundings. With excursions to Madrid, Segovia, Ávila, and other towns, students will experience authentic Spanish culture through dance, cuisine and cultural lessons. Students will attend immersion classes at Colegio Delibes in Salamanca in the morning and attend cultural excursions in the afternoons and evenings.
"I never entertained the notion that my first travel experience to China would end up changing my life's trajectory, defining my dreams and offering a boundless wellspring of inspiration for the future. Laura Polding '10
Join us on a unique trip exploring the history of China. In May, MKA seniors have the opportunity to travel through China, visiting some of the finest achievements of the Middle kingdom including: the Great Wall, the magnificent peaks of Yellow Mountain, Ling Yin Temple complex and the Forbidden City. Designed to offer students a glimpse of China seldom seen by westerners, May Term China will take students to a remote section of the Great Wall, a martial arts dojo in Beijing and on train rides through the countryside. Participants will be taught some basic language skills as well as some of the history of China during the weeks of May leading up to our departure. Throughout the trip students will have the opportunity to sample authentic examples of local cuisine. This is a very special trip developed specifically for MKA students and not found in any catalogue.
Artists of France & Spain trip provides seniors with the opportunity to enrich their knowledge of art and architecture in Paris, Provence, Barcelona and Madrid during the May Term. Students will explore visual art (sculpture, painting, and architecture throughout history including contemporary art). This tour will be an extraordinary experience for seniors that want to immerse themselves in the culture, history, and language of these European cities.
- ENGLAND: HISTORY, MYTH AND LEGEND
- GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IN TANZANIA
- CHILE EXCHANGE PROGRAM
- GLOBAL VOLUNTEERS: BLACKFEET NATION MONTANA
This Spring Break trip gives students an outstanding opportunity to visit the greatest “pilgrimage sites” of English literature: London and Westminster (Bloomsbury/Dickens Museum, the Globe and Poets' Corner), the Lake District (associated with the Romantic poets), the Yorkshire moors and Haworth (the Brontës), Stratford (Shakespeare), and Bath (Austen). By enabling students to ground their past (and future) reading experiences in actual places, people, and events, the trip brings new life to the greatest writers and works in the English language. Along the way, it provides encounters with a British culture that is still, in many important ways, different from our own. The itinerary may include theater events at Stratford, the National Theatre, and/or the Globe.
This trip seeks to empower young leaders to find innovative solutions to the world’s pressing problems. We do this by partnering with a K-12 school in Karatu, Tanzania to make the shift to 21st century learning. The goal is to help both schools create student-centered learning environments where students learn to think critically, communicate across cultures, collaborate and find creative solutions to problems. In the process, young leaders find their voices. Students will also explore the Kilimanjaro area and the Ngorongoro Crater.
"My speaking wasn't fluent yet, but my understanding had made a huge leap forward ... Those first few weeks were a struggle but it was worth it as my language skills are now so much stronger." Will Bator '14
This program is an exchange with Instituto Abdón Cifuentes in San Felipe, Chile, a prestigious private school where many important doctors, lawyers, politicians, architects, engineers, military and other influential people in Chile have studied. A small group of students form Instituto Abdón Cifuentes will come to MKA during the month of February and, in turn, MKA students will travel to Chile in June. Both in Chile and at MKA, students will participate in curricular activities at the host school and will be offered cultural and historical trips in the surrounding areas. In order for students to fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of the host country, students will stay with host families hand-selected by the hosting school. Please note that MKA students may participate in either part of the exchange or in both parts of they so desire. In order to travel to Chile, MKA students must have completed Spanish Level 3.
This nine-day community service and cultural/historical experience involves 5 days of community service projects on a Blackfeet Reservation in Northern Montana in partnership with Global Volunteers. Students participate in evening cultural activities and spend a day exploring nearby Glacier National Park as well as other local sites.