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.
For questions, email Wally Swanson.
"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
Faculty Leaders: Ms. Mahoney and Mr. Dziura
Students had 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 visited 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 spent a good deal of the trip adventuring. Students also spent 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 ranged from hotels in Delhi to tents in the Himalayas. We talked philosophy with Buddhist nuns, played soccer with Tibetan refugee children and volunteered at the Golden Temple. By listening, questioning and exploring, students had the opportunity to experience and learn about the beautiful place where many of the world's most ancient traditions have found a home.
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Belsky and Mr. Kane
Travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands allowed students to experience the culture of Quito and the biological wonders of the Islands. They spent 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 included: 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.
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Wells and Mr. Held
For the first time in many years, students visited the country of South Africa. The trip included a stop at Johannesburg, where the group toured the nation’s largest city, including a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Students participated in a two-night safari to track the Big 5 at one of the national wildlife reserves. The trip included a three-day stop in Cape Town to visit Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, as well as Robben Island, where former South African President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for much of his 27 years. Also, students experienced a day at a South African school, observed penguins in their natural habit at Boulders Beach and took in a rugby match.
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Easler and Dr. Easler
Mr. and Dr. Easler offered an introduction to backpacking and the American Southwest. Students learned the basics of camping and backpacking (one week on the WMA campus), then traveled to Arizona (one week), where they prepped for a hike into the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. The group spent time swimming, hiking and exploring the Bright Angel area before heading to the Havasu Falls trailhead, before hiking to Havasupai Village (two nights). There was time to explore the falls and village, as well as rest.
Faculty Leaders: Mr. Harrington and Ms. MacLauchlan
Four students were chosen based on academic merit and citizenship, as well as an application essay. Students were housed at Plymouth College, a boarding school in Southern England where they were fully immersed in British boarding school life. Additionally, the group spent 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 it is generously supported by friend of the Academy, Mr. Lev Hubbard.
Check out photo galleries and videos from past trips.