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Learning Through Travel

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.

Student Travel: 'Oh, the places we've been'


"Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has often spoken about “the danger of a single story” and how we often accept the first story we are told about a particular person, place or culture as being the ultimate truth and reality. Only when we are exposed to a different, second story can we can begin to change our perception of people. My experience on the Academy’s trip to Namibia is my second story of this small piece of Africa."

... ... ... ... ...

"As a former Global Scholar and proud alumna of the Global School®, I was incredibly confident that I did not view the world and its people through stereotypical lenses. However, while in Namibia, I quickly realized that I still have much to learn about cultures I have yet to experience, and even those that I have already experienced.

- Allie Collins-Anderson '16


"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

Where do you want to go?


Check out photo galleries and videos from past trips.

Student Travel Opportunities 2016-17


Faculty Leaders: Mr. Kane, Ms. Casey

Only 90 miles off the coast of Florida, but very different from the United States, students will have the opportunity to see and hear much of the culture, music and everyday life of our southern neighbor. After an embargo of many decades, Americans can now travel to this beautiful Caribbean island. On our itinerary are the cities of La Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santa Clara.

We will stay in pensiones, hotels, and homestays and have the chance to visit beaches, national parks, museums, and be able to enjoy some of the tremendous Cuban Cuisine. The history of this island nation and its contentious relationship with the United States will be provide an extraordinary opportunity to see history unfold as the two countries’ citizens gain increasing access to each other. Preference will be given to Spanish language students.

(This trip took place in March 2017)


Faculty Leaders: Ms. Barone, Ms. Squindo

Over Spring Break, Ms Fontaine Squindo and Ms Barone will take a group of students to Central Europe. Students will explore the historical and cultural identities of Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. With many historical sights to see, the tour will focus on some 13th and 14th century points of interest and then include WWII and Holocaust historical sites. Starting in Budapest, we will see the Fisherman's Bastion, Castle Hill, and the Danube bridges with our local tour guide.

The group will also go on a river cruise of the Danube. After five days in Budapest, we will travel to Vienna, where we see more of the arts and music of the city. We will see the Hofburg Palace, the Habsburg family's palace, and the Belvedere Museum and Palace.

On the eighth day of the trip, the group will head to Prague and have the opportunity to tour the Terezin Concentration Camp. Travel concludes in Prague with additional highlights, including the Charles Bridge, Tyn Church, Hradcany Castle, and Karstejn Castle.

(This trip took place in March 2017)


Faculty Leaders: Mr. Harrington '73, Ms. D'Amato

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.

(This trip took place in March 2017)


Faculty Leaders: Dr. Gorski, Mr. Iannacone

Glaciers, volcanoes, lava fields and hot springs will be the destinations explored when WMA travels to Iceland in the early summer of 2017. The Land of Fire and Ice will be bathed in the midnight sun as we explore this Nordic country, established in the 9th century. We intend to sample the many scientific features of Iceland such as several glaciers and resulting land formations. The fertile soils arising from Iceland's volcanic history provide beautiful walks and hikes to view the abundant plant and bird species that populate the island. Despite being geographically small, Iceland is rich in biodiversity and geological contrasts that have contributed to its culture and history. Viking settlements, ancient lava fields, beaches, waterfalls and modern geothermal power make this trip a science enthusiast's dream.

(This trip took place in June 2017)


Faculty Leader: Ms. Decker

The Yunnan Ethnic Minority School Project (YEMS) is a cross-cultural volunteer program. During 10 days volunteering, students teach English, make new friends and help to provide needed resources to the ethnic-minority students in an under-privileged village in Yunnan Province, China. The project was started by WMA alum Mengdie "Melody" Liu.

Yunnan is one of the least economically and educationally developed in China with a population of 26 ethnic minorities. This opportunity provides a very unique cultural experience for both our students and theirs. During the two week long immersive program, the students will be teaching English, engaging in sports, music and outdoor excursions with the Yunnan students and visiting the local homes and villages in the region.

Additionally, the group will have the chance to see Beijing and its sites on their way out of the country. Chinese speaking volunteers will work alongside WMA students and teachers.

In addition to the school and classroom volunteer opportunities, students will be able to experience the rural life of an inland province and see the wide range of lifestyles between Yunnan and Beijing. WMA alums who have been on this trip state this this opportunity was challenging, rewarding and life-changing.

Words from

"YEMS believes in a world of one, a world where the youth exchange ideas to make an impact in their communities, without the constraints of language, geography and financial resources. YEMS creates a cultural exchange experience by encompassing language, art, music and sports that ignite the participants to explore their passion. We don’t just teach English, we build dreams

Program Highlights:

  • Two week long immersive cultural exchange program containing:
  • Interactive English Instruction
  • Immersive cultural exchanging sessions
  • Versatile activities such as team sports, music performances and outdoor excursions
  • Visit the homes of under-resourced students, and implement effective plans that improve their lives
  • Regional sightseeing

(video by Andrew Faulstich '15)

(This trip took place in June 2017)

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