experiential education + cultural exchange
INTL’s experiential education and language exchange program emphasizes collaboration, community involvement, and a sense of adventure. We encourage our students to be risk-takers, explore the diversity of our world, and develop the skills necessary to take on the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world.
Students across all grades also have various local and domestic experiential learning locales, providing them with academic, social, and physical learning experiences. From visiting a local pumpkin patch in preschool to environmental science studies in Yosemite for 5th grade to traveling to Costa Rica to help build rural village structures in 8th grade, to spending a semester abroad in high school, INTL’s experiential learning and foreign exchange opportunities engage their curiosities and develop their international mindset.
experiences in elementary and middle school
Each year, upper elementary and middle school students have the opportunity to participate in international exchange and travel. These unique experiences are thoughtfully aligned with their curriculum and help to solidify their language skills as well as expand their cultural understanding.
For example, 4th Grade students can travel to Taiwan for a 10-day cultural exchange trip to experience Chinese life and culture firsthand. Students explore Taichung and Taipei, live with host families, and attend a local elementary school with their Chinese peers. Middle School students travel to a suburb near Paris, live with host families, and attend a top school, while also visiting and seeing Parisian cultural sights. Upper School German Program students have had the opportunity to travel to Germany to attend classes with INTL’s sister school, Otto Schott Gymnasium, and tour the rich cultural offerings of the surrounding area.
experiences in high school
High school students have the option to participate in a variety of international service and cultural trips. They might choose to help on an organic coffee farm in Costa Rica or build a turtle hatchery for an endangered species in Nicaragua. Students are also able to spend a semester abroad through Round Square to further develop their language skills.
Service and language trips are often part of a student’s Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) goals, an experiential learning component of the IB Diploma Programme in 11th and 12th grade. In the CAS program, students complete a wide variety of extracurriculars, community service, and active options to meet and reflect on personal learning goals.