Each year WMA offers exciting opportunities for students to travel around the country and around the world to enhance their classroom studies. Students can explore both the differences and interconnectedness of peoples and economies from around the world and around the nation.
Travel is seen as an opportunity for WMA students to gain first-hand experience with the people, institutions and challenges of the modern world.
The specific trips offered each year vary as do their academic focus. Community service, school exchange, business and design, language immersion, ecology/conservation and visual art have each served as the focus of past trips.
As travel opportunities are seen as extensions of classroom learning, all trips require pre-trip meetings, readings and post-trip reflections in addition to work at the site.
Montreal - Fall Vacation
Faculty Leaders: Ms. Dubois, Mr. Gouin and Ms. Bacon
Students will have the opportunity to visit Montreal, where they will have an Old Montreal guided tour and visit Mont Royal, the Biodome, the Olympic tower, Montreal’s underground city and a multimedia show at the Musee Pointe. They will also perform their own broadcast at the Radio Canada Studios, shop and eat delicious French food. An option will be a Montreal Canadiens game or ice skating. Open to both Middle School and Upper School students, priority will be given to French students.
Backpacking & the american southwest - March Break
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Easler and Dr. Easler
Join Mr. and Dr. Easler on an introduction to backpacking and the American southwest. Learn the basics of camping and backpacking (one week on the WMA campus), then travel to Arizona (one week), where you will prep for a hike into the Grand Canyon (three nights in the South Kaibab and Bright Angel areas). Spend time swimming, hiking and exploring the Bright Angel area before heading to the Havasu Falls trailhead, where you will hike to Havasupai Village (two nights). There will be time to explore the falls and village, as well as rest. This trip is a great opportunity for those who have never camped nor backpacked before, but also for those who have.
ENGLAND - March Break
Faculty Leaders: TBA
Four students are chosen based on academic merit and citizenship, as well as an application essay. Students are housed at Plymouth College, a boarding school in Southern England where they are fully immersed in British boarding school life. Additionally, the group spends time visiting historical sites both in the south of England and in the city of London. Only students who have never traveled outside their home country are eligible for this trip as the trip is generously supported by friend of the Academy, Mr. Lev Hubbard. Preference will be given to those in good academic standing, who have demonstrated responsible citizenship and have a willingness to assist in the hosting of visiting Plymouth College students.
India - March Break
Faculty Leaders: Ms. Mahoney and Mr. Dziura
Students will have the opportunity to study India's historic and current attempts to craft a national identity while maintaining its deep, and sometimes conflicting, cultural traditions. We will visit the epicenter of major world religions: the seat of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, in exile in Dharamsala and the Golden Temple of the Sikh religion, in addition to the Red Fort and some of the oldest Hindu temples and Islamic mosques in the world. In addition to a close examination of India's culture, we'll also spend a good deal of the trip adventuring. Students will also spend time hiking and camping in the Himalayas, riding rickshaws in Old Delhi and exploring the Lakshman Jhula, an enormous suspension bridge that sways above the Ganges River. Our accommodations will range from hotels in Delhi to tents in the Himalayas. We'll talk philosophy with Buddhist nuns, play soccer with Tibetan refugee children, volunteer at the Golden Temple and maybe even experience some yoga. By listening, questioning and exploring, students will have the opportunity to experience and learn about the beautiful place where many of the world's most ancient traditions have found a home.
Nicaragua - March Break
Faculty Leaders: Ms. Casey and Mr. Shea
Students will travel to the colonial city of Granada in Nicaragua, where they will learn about the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the beautiful architecture of the city. This trip is service-based and students will be primarily working in housing developments in the city. Students will also be connecting with the founders of The Pulsera Project, an organization that WMA works with during the school year to sell pulseras (handmade bracelets). In addition to service work and cultural tours around Granada, students will have the opportunity to visit two active volcanos and kayak among the islands of Lake Nicaragua. The trip provides an opportunity for students to connect to the culture and people of Nicaragua and learn through service.
Ecuador and the galapagos islands - June 2018
Faculty Leaders: Ms. Ryan and Mr. Kane
Travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to experience the culture of Quito and the biological wonders of the Islands. Spend time in the capital of this South American country before journeying to the Galapagos to learn about the many species of flora and fauna and the astounding landscape. Highlights include: Independence Plaza, Santa Domingo Monastery and the Intiana Museum in Quito, the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, learning about the process called natural selection, viewing giant tortoises, iguanas, penguins, sea lions, finches, flamingos and the famous blue-footed boobies, hiking across lava fields and craters at Sierra Negra volcano and visiting the market town of Otavalo.
South Africa - June 2018
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Wells and Mr. Held
For the first time in many years, WMA will visit the country of South Africa. First, a stop at Johannesburg, where the group will tour the nation’s largest city, including a visit to the Apartheid Museum. From there, WMA will participate in an overnight safari to track the Big 5 at one of the national wildlife reserves. After Johannesburg, WMA will take a flight to Cape Town, where Table Mountain and Robben Island, where former South African President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for much of his 27 years, await. Also, WMA hopes to experience a day at a South African school, observe penguins in their natural habit at Boulders Beach and take in a rugby match. And, rumor has it there's a beach at Cape Town.
"When the group reached the top, Machu Picchu sat off in the distance, covered by a cloudy sky. We were told to place our stone on the ground, as the group huddled around in a small circle and joined hands while the tour guide expressed words of gratitude and prayer ... With the stones forming a heart on the ground in the center of the circle, all eyes were closed as the tour guide continued her prayer to the mountain god, Pachamama. When the moment concluded, we opened our eyes to find the clouds had disappeared around Machu Picchu and the ancient civilization had become fully visible. It was an emotional moment for all and one most memorable.
- Mary Sparago '17
Check out photo galleries and videos from past trips.