2018-2019 travel and exchange program offers global opportunities, invaluable experiences

At Colorado Academy, we nurture dynamic thinkers and active citizens of the world through a curriculum that develops intellectual aptitude and character. Part of that curriculum includes experiences designed to offer students extended study outside the classroom and out of the country. These programs are strictly optional. Some are more academic and exploratory; others are more service-oriented. Each is designed to be a memorable and educational experience. There are a number of challenging and exciting programs in Lower, Middle, and Upper School. No matter the destination, CA’s Global Travel and Exchange program provides a wide range of opportunities for enhanced learning.

In Lower School, Fifth Graders can apply for an exchange program in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In Middle School, a French language immersion program takes students to Quebec, Canada during Interim. In addition, Middle School students can experience the culture of Peru.

Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in exchange programs in Turkey, Scotland and Colombia. In addition, there are trips planned to discover Cuba, teach STEM skills in Tanzania and continue CA’s tradition of service and cultural immersion in Haiti.



    Stewart’s Melville College/Mary Erskine School in Edinburgh, Scotland

    Dates: Travel – September 28-October 13, 2018; Host – April 6-27, 2019
    Contact: Lower School Administrative Assistant Lyric McKnight
    Cost: Approximately $2,500, includes international airfare and chaperone expenses. Families incur minimal cost to host a Scottish student for three weeks in the spring.
    Capacity: 3-6 students
    Eligibility: Fourth Grade students (will be in Fifth Grade by the time the program runs) are eligible. Family must submit an application.

For more than 30 years, the Lower School at Colorado Academy and Erskine Stewart’s Melville Junior School in Edinburgh, Scotland have participated in a Fifth Grade exchange program. Each fall, up to six Colorado Academy students travel to Scotland and participate in a homestay program for approximately three weeks. The following spring, students from those same families become part of our CA community for three weeks.

The two schools, while similar in some ways, have differences that enrich the exchange experience. Erskine Stewart’s Melville Junior School represents the best of Scottish traditions and is located in a beautiful city filled with historical landmarks. Students visiting Edinburgh attend the school, visit historical sites, and have the experience of living in a family with another Fifth Grader whose life they share.

Students apply in April, and decisions are finalized in May. Selections are made by a committee of faculty and administrators on both sides of the Atlantic. Finding a strong match for students is important and central to the process.



    French Language Immersion: Québec, Canada

    Dates: May 11-18, 2019 (MS Interim)
    Trip Leaders: Erin Carlson and Jenny Wilczewski
    Cost: Approximately $3,000-$3,500, all inclusive
    Capacity: 12-16 students
    Eligibility: Middle School students who are enrolled in French.
    Vendor: Walking Tree Travel

Don’t want to fly across the ocean to experience Europe? Québec is the answer! Canada’s largest province is also the most multicultural. It has the most unique mix of old world meets new world, English meets French, and history meets modern times—all in North America. Students take French classes in the morning, engage in cultural activities in the afternoon, and experience homestays with local families in the evening. The last two days the group travels to Mont Tremblant for a ropes course and a yoga class.


In partnership with Peruvian Hearts, a local nonprofit founded by then-CA Middle School student, Ana Dodson (Class of 2010), and now run by CA alumnus Danny Dodson (Class of 2001), CA is offering this one-of-a-kind trip to visit and experience Peru as never before. Students learn about the Peruvian culture through visits to local markets, Inca ruins, and local restaurants. They have a unique opportunity to visit with the girls supported by Peruvian Hearts, and they visit the homes of two Peruvian Hearts scholars. Students engage in a half-day service project to support the program. Participants travel by train through the breathtaking Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes, where a private guide helps students experience and understand the wonder and majesty of the Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. The program also includes two days in the Lima area with a visit to Pre-Incan sites and a day trip to the Callao Islands.



    Exchange Program Üsküdar American Academy, Istanbul, Turkey

    Dates: Travel – September 29-October 13, 2018; Host – January 15-29, 2019
    Trip Leader: Katy Hills
    Cost: Approximately $2,500, includes international airfare and travel insurance. Families incur minimal cost to host a Turkish student.
    Capacity: 4-6 students
    Eligibility: Grades 9-12. Applicants must submit an essay and a family profile. Finding a strong match for students is important and central to the process.

This program brings students to CA from the highly regarded Üsküdar American Academy in Istanbul. CA students learn about the culture and history of the Ottomans and the Turkish Republic as well as the significance of Turkey geopolitically as a predominantly Muslim country. Visiting students attend CA classes and are part of CA family activities.


    Exchange Program Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow, Scotland

    Dates: Host – October 13-28, 2018; Travel – February 15-March 2, 2019 (unaccompanied)
    Cost: Approximately $2,500, includes international airfare. Families incur minimal cost of hosting a Scottish student for two weeks.
    Capacity: 4-6 students
    Eligibility: Open to all rising Juniors. Applicants must submit an essay and a family profile. Faculty members interview finalists. Finding a strong match for students is important and central to the process.

This exchange program includes a two-week homestay experience with a Scottish family and studying at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. Students attend regular classes. Also, they participate in a variety of activities with their host families, such as exploring the Scottish countryside.


    Colombia Exchange: Spanish Language and Culture Immersion

    Dates: Travel – Spring Break (March 15-25, 2019); Host – April 6-20, 2019
    Trip Leader: Jason Koza
    Cost: Approximately $3,000, all inclusive
    Capacity: 10 students
    Eligibility: Grades 9-12; must be currently enrolled in Spanish and complete an application/family profile
    Vendor: Envoys and Gimnasio Los Caobos
    Apply: Download the application

With Colombia’s turbulent past rapidly receding, the nation is in the midst of a boom. Economic growth, safety, and stability are on the rise in all corners of the country, and visitors are joyously rediscovering the remarkable diversity and warmth of this gateway to South America. This hybrid exchange and travel program allows students to connect with the Colombian people, from shadowing high school peers in the capital Bogota to exploring Afro-Indigenous traditions in the Caribbean port town of Cartagena. Two weeks after returning home, with Spanish still fresh on their tongues, students have the opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality.


    Service and Cultural Immersion in Nordette, Mirebalais, and Cange, Haiti

    Dates: December 12-19, 2018 with an off-campus retreat on December 20, 2018
    Trip Leaders: Stuart Mills and Jesse Schumacher
    Cost: $3,100, includes round-trip airfare, meals, travel insurance, lodging, and ground transportation.
    Capacity: 8-14 students
    Eligibility: Grades 10-12; priority given to students enrolled in the Haiti social studies elective. Application deadline: September 24, 2018

A week in Haiti can be life-changing, and again this year, CA faculty and students return to Haiti to continue work with the nonprofit Road to Hope and CA’s sister school there. After a night in Miami, the group arrives in Cap Haitien early the next morning to begin an eye opening, challenging, and unforgettable experience. The group travels from the airport to the city of Mirebalais, where they meet with Père Alphonse, CA’s liaison and director of 17 Episcopal schools in Haiti. After visiting a local school, the group visits the home of Père Alphonse for a meal before traveling to the rural mountain village of Nordette. Once near the village, the group travels the last two miles on foot to St. Patrick’s School, where they spend the night. CA students engage in cultural, educational, and service activities with the students of St. Patrick’s School, as well as a visit to the city of Cange to see Dr. Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health Hospital. Once back in Mirebalais, the group gathers for a final night in the hotel before departing the next morning for Colorado. NOTE: This trip is physically and emotionally demanding and requires advance vaccinations and medical preparations.


    Inside Cuba

    Dates: May 26-June 1, 2019 (US Interim)
    Trip Leaders: Jane Kelly and Lisa Todd
    Cost: Approximately $4,000, all inclusive.
    Capacity: 12-16 students
    Eligibility: Grades 9-12; priority is given to Juniors and Seniors studying Spanish and to those enrolled in the Trimester 3 Cuba social studies elective.
    Vendor: Walking Tree Travel
    Application: Due by October 26, 2018

What an exciting time to discover Cuba! Today, Cuba is on the verge of profound change as U.S.-Cuban ties continue to evolve. Along with its rich cultural characteristics, Cuba has a dramatic history filled with prominent world events and provocative leaders. This global travel experience—our third to the island nation—immerses participants in Cuba’s culture while encouraging them to think objectively about the history and current socio-political climate of this complex country. Students explore a multitude of sights, sounds, and topics to engage anyone eager to learn about the largest island in the Caribbean, located just 93 miles off the tip of Florida. Join the group for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.


    Tanzania STEM Service Program

    Dates: Mid-July, 2019; exact dates TBD
    Trip Leaders: Sean Gallop and Kim Jans
    Cost: Approximately $4,500, all inclusive.
    Capacity: 20 students
    Eligibility: Grades 9-11 (qualified and motivated graduating Seniors will be considered on a case-by-case basis). Participants must have a strong interest or experience in STEM.
    Vendor: World Leadership School and TeachUnited

Immense, rugged, colorful, and vibrant—no one word or idea can symbolize a land so diverse in its geography, culture, and history. Whether watching wildlife wandering in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro or visiting Maasai villages, Tanzania takes your breath away. This exciting, new program immerses Colorado Academy students in the academic and cultural life of Tanzania. By simultaneously acting as tutors, role models, tech support, and mentors, CA students will improve their own STEM skills by helping to advance technology access and science appreciation in a local school. The heart of this experience is seven days living with a host family in Karatu. A highlight of the trip will be an opportunity to experience a wildlife and cultural tour in the world-renowned Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.