Wilbraham and Monson Academy The Global School

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. 

To register for a trip, visit our registration page.

For more information, please contact Wally Swanson.

Student Travel Opportunities for 2014-2015

  • Washington, D.C. • Thanksgiving break - FULL
  • Miami • February long weekend 
  • Cambodia • March - FULL
  • England • March - FULL 
  • Mexico • March
  • France • June
  • Namibia • June - FULL
  • Amazon • July - FULL

Washington, D.C.

Trip Date: Thanksgiving Break, 2014

Focus: American Studies and University Exploration

Trip Leader: Mrs. Hsiao

Deadline: September 30, 2014

Cost: $1,200

Description: During the Thanksgiving break, students will have the opportunity to visit the nation's capital and explore the cultural and historic highlights of Washington D.C. In addition to seeing the Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson Memorials, and the Smithsonian Museums, students will be able to explore Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University.


Trip Date: February Long Weekend

Focus: Art and Urban Studies

Trip Leader: Mr. Bloomfield

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Cost: $1,100

Description: Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department Paul Bloomfield will be taking a group of students to Miami during the February Long Weekend. Students will have the opportunity to explore the culturally diverse city of Miami, focusing on the art and architecture of this unique American city. With a focus on Art Deco architecure, Mr. Bloomfield will tour students through the city where they will have the chance to visit the area's art museums, beaches in addition to Little Havana and smaller communities within the city. Students will be expected to produce a small portfolio through photography and sketching. This trip can be used to fulfill two arts enrichments credits.


Trip Date: March 2015

Focus: The Role of the NGO & Cultural Studies

Trip Leader(s): Mr. Dziura & Mr. Bloomfield

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Cost: $4,200

Description: Faculty members Mr. Dziura and Mr. Bloomfield will lead a group of WMA students to Cambodia in the spring of 2015. The trip will focus on the rebuilding of the Cambodian social, economic and cultural infrastructure following the genocide and civil war that occurred between 1975 and 1992. Students will study the role of the domestic and international NGO in present day Cambodia including visits to Pour un Sourire d'Enfant, a French NGO that provides primary, secondary, and vocational education to street children in Phnom Penh and New Hope for Cambodian Children, an American founded orphanage. In addition to days exploring Phnom Penh and various domestic and international NGOs, students will also spend considerable time visiting the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap.

Link to Previous Cambodia Trip Video


Trip Date: March 2015

Focus: School Exchange - Plymouth College

Trip Leader(s): Ms. Barone

Deadline: November, 2014

Price: $500

Description: Four students and one faculty member will travel to England in the spring of 2015. Students will be chosen based on academic merit and citizenship. Students will be housed at Plymouth College, a boarding school in Southern England where they will be fully immersed in British boarding school life. Additionally, the group will spend time visiting historical sites both in the south of England and in the city of London. Only students who have never travelled 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.


Trip Date: March 2015

Focus: Spanish Language Immersion and Cultural Studies

Trip Leader(s): Mr. Kane & Mr. Shea

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Cost: $2,800

Description:  Students studying Spanish will get the opportunity to immerse themselves in Oaxaca, Mexico, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southern Mexico. Through a partnership with the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca (icomexico.com), students will have the opportunity to gain additional Spanish language training and have the chance to employ their language skills through real life experience. Students will be housed (2 students per family) with local families who are hired by the institute and all within walking distance of the school. Each morning, students will attend language classes with local teachers and then have the afternoon to visit the  sites and attractions of Oaxaca with the group. Visit highlights include enjoying the sidealk cafes of the city, visiting the ruins of Monte Alban, the natural springs and mountains of Hierve El Agua, as well as other archeological sites and indigenous markets.  

For additional information on the city, language classes, homestays and excursions, please visit the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, our partner and service provider for this trip at www.icomexico.com


Trip Date: June 2015

Focus: Design and French Cultural Studies

Trip Leader(s): Ms. Lowry-Brook

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Cost: $3,800

Description: Students will have the opportunity to travel to France in June of 2015. The trip will focus on the art of design in addition to the cultural richness offered by Paris. In addition to visits to museums and city landmarks, students will receive instruction in the design process from French educators from our partner institution Mod'Art. In addition to design classes focusing on the discovery of new designers and trends and the importance of photography and media in visual merchandising,  French language conversation practice and instruction (all levels) will be available. 


Trip Date: June 2015

Focus: Animal Conservation and Service

Trip Leader(s): Mr. Swanson

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Cost: $3,900

Description:  The program will have a two part focus; the science of cheetah conservation with the Cheetah Conversation Fund and a service project in the north with the Himba tribe. Additionally, the program will include the important African safari at Etosha National Park giving students a very close look at a wide variety of animals. Camping in an enclosed area next to a water hole is like a moving zoo of exotic animals giving students a close look at their behavior patterns during watering. 

In 2012, Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virgina visited Namibia on an exclusive program with Indaba tours. Due to the remoteness of the destinations, students traveled by a large overland truck and camped at designated sites across the country. There are few lodging options available in these remote locations making camping a necessity. The truck comes with a kitchen and a fantastic cook who prepares mostly western meals suitable to the palette of our young travelers. But on the occasion, students will visit the local eateries as well. 

Students will spend 5 days with the Cheetah Conservation Fund researching cheetah DNA, environment, health and conservation strategies. Economic development theories will be a major conceptual component of this experience as students ponder the economic path to a better standard of living for Namibians and African as a whole. 

The service project will send the students northward to the heart of the Himba tribal region where they will camp at a local school and work alongside Namibian students.

Download Introduction Letter  •  Download Daily Schedule


Trip Date: July 2015

Focus:  Environmental and Cultural Studies

Trip Leader(s): Mr. Easler

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Cost: $6,200

Description: Similar to those of previous years, this trip is best described as roughing it easy. Days will be spent getting dirty and exploring the vast offerings of the Amazonian frontier, and nights will be spent with food and accommodations surprisingly luxurious so far from asphalt. One thing is for certain, it will not be easily, if ever, forgotten; it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This part of the world is changing so rapidly in structure and climate, resulting from deforestation and anthropological migration, that the chance to see it is invaluable, as it will not exist in a decade or two. The group will travel to and throughout the Mato Grosso and Xingu River region in the southern Amazon basin area of Brazil. Activities include cultural exchanges with indigenous people and settlers (including an overnight in the Kamaiura village), rain forest environmental research with Ivy League researchers, sustainable cattle ranching, and recreational treats such as world-class Amazonian fishing, jungle exploration, wildlife observation, and amazing authentic Brazilian cuisine.

Mr. Easler has traveled to this region once with his wife and four times with students. The travelers will be guided by Mr. Easler's friend, John Cain Carter, who served in the Army with Mr. Easler and who has lived on his ranch in the Xingu River basin with his Brazilian wife Kika and their two daughters for over ten years. John also served as this year's keynote speaker for Mr. Easler's Installation as the Academy's new Head of School. John has become actively involved with many indigenous tribes and with government and environmental initiatives that have led him to establish an internationally recognized non-government organization dedicated to preservation of the Amazon. 

Link to Previous Amazon Trip Video

Student Travel 






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