International Courses for Immersion 2017:

Please note that travel dates may shift and that some return dates may occur after the conclusion of Immersion on Friday, December 15, 2017. Courses with secure dates and costs will have a link to the travel itinerary. We will make updates to this page as they are available. 

Explore Biodiversity in Tropical Ecosystems (9-12)

Climb a volcano, hike in a rainforest, and search for monkeys at the beach while exploring the incredible biology and varied ecosystems of Costa Rica.  Begin in the lush lowland rainforest of Selva Verde, continue to Arenal Volcano to discover geological history, and witness the unique biodiversity inhabiting Manuel Antonio National on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.  As part of this Immersion course, you will learn about the ecology of tropical rainforests at Selva Verde’s private Rainforest Reserve, gain a behind-the scenes look at sustainable agricultural practices, and experience a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure.

Travel Dates: TBD (likely December 8-16) 
Approx Travel Cost: $2500 
Dean Sexton

Global Youth Leadership (10-12)

Join Global Youth Leadership Organization on a service learning trip to Bangladesh. Learn how to identify needs in your community and gain the confidence to do something about it. Learn how YOU can organize in your community, accrue donations, and start your own non-profit organization. During your time in the Capital, Dhaka, and explore the Garments industry, and talk to locals and understand the challenges living in the  capital and raising a family. Meet with local politicians and find out the steps the government is taking in order to help the poverty crisis. Travel to the District of Barisal and spend three days on a farm and experience what local farmers face on a day-to-day basis. Take part in cultural exchange with the locals and farmers a use ancient farming methods in a modern day society, and learn new agricultural techniques in the villages. Explore the Jute Workshop and meet the 20 women who are running it. We will culminate with work on a service learning project to benefit the locals.

Travel Dates: TBD (likely December 8-18)
Approx Travel Cost: $3900
Sarah Culberson & Sheik Jibran

Jewish and Arabic Influences on Spanish Culture (9-12)

Enjoy an amazing adventure in Spain as you get to experience the unique cultural flavor of Madrid and the South of Spain. Start your immersion by visiting the Plaza Mayor in Madrid; have a ‘Tapas’ lunch while exploring the ‘Mercado of San Miguel’ and end your first day participating in a ‘Flamenco Dance Class’. All of this followed by trips to the cities of Cordoba, Granada and Seville where you will discover the mesmerizing Jewish and Arab influences in food, language and architecture. In Cordoba, tour and explore the Mezquite Cathedral, The Historic Centre of Cordoba and the Jewish Quarter. In Granada tour the historic Moorish quarter, The Alhambra Palace, and end your visit of Granada at the Arabic souk (bazaar). In Seville visit the Jewish Quarter Gothic Cathedral and the thousand-year-old, Royal Palace. You will also be able to improve your Spanish with near daily language classes and cultural trips.

Travel Dates: TBD (likely December 9-18)
Approx Travel Cost: $3500
Alicia Coffey & Ben Tsvirinko

Land to Marine Environmental Service (9-12)

In partnership with an educational travel group, this hands-on course will allow students to explore how environmental challenges can be addressed at the grassroots level. Working with a local marine research and conservation group, students will learn about the issues involved in marine protection and conservation in the Dominican Republic. From their home base in the beach town of Bayahibe, students will examine coral reef health and explore the indigenous and invasive species that are part of the reef’s ecosystem. Service learning projects include the construction of coral structure, performing erosion analysis, marine monitoring of dolphins and joining an ongoing reef analysis study. Students also explore the interrelationship between connecting ecosystems, and how urban development impacts environmental protection efforts. In addition to their work in the field, the group will learn more about the history and culture of the DR.

Travel Dates: TBD (likely December 9-16)
Approx Travel Cost: $2600
Kari Bosworth

 

Mandarin Language and Cultural Immersion (9-12)

This ten-day program, offered in conjunction with an educational tour company, will introduce you to ancient and contemporary China while teaching you the basics of Mandarin. Language instruction, led by native speakers, is fully interactive: you’ll acquire a vocabulary and learn pronunciation as you participate in a calligraphy lesson and a traditional tea ceremony; visit a Tibetan Buddhist monastery; experience Chinese martial arts up close; shop at a local food market; and try your hand at cooking traditional Chinese dishes.  On the final day, the group takes a high-speed bullet train to Shanghai, where they will attend a traditional Chinese acrobatics performance.

Travel Dates: TBD (likely December 8-18)
Approx Travel Cost: $4050
Thomas Wong

Ocean Sailing and Navigation (9-12)

Welcome aboard the 130-foot schooner Roseway for seven days of sailing, where you will learn the time-honored arts of the seafarer.  All students will participate fully in the 24-hour life of the ship, including standing watch with the professional crew and performing all of the daily operational tasks of the voyage – setting and trimming sails, steering, navigation, line handling and knots, and emergency procedures.  The emphasis over the course of the program will be to learn about the teamwork and leadership skills necessary to create an effective community aboard ship.  One of the features of the Immersion Sailing class is the opportunity to make extended passages over open water, which involves standing watches and sailing through the night.  In an effort to connect students with the long and storied history of maritime travel and service, we will be reading selections from various novels, writing in journals, and learning sea shanties, which were the “work songs” of old.

Prior to our departure from Los Angeles, we will focus on the two major academic objectives of the trip: navigation skills and marine ecology.  Navigation studies begin with basic chart plotting, using many of the tools sailors used prior to the age of electronics.  The challenge of pinpointing a ship’s position and plotting its course will progress from simple “dead reckoning” techniques through two- and three-bearing fixes, and we will begin to apply astronomical sightings using sextants toward the end of the voyage.  These techniques will enable students to understand the complex workings behind GPS units which are so common today.  Our marine ecology unit will focus on pollution and its effects on the oceans and marine life.  We will begin by studying the global ocean currents by which pollutants are distributed throughout the world, and students will read about the great “garbage patches” located in the central oceans and discuss various approaches to solving this truly international problem.

Offshore Passage on Schooner Roseway

Dave Badger
Dates of Travel: December 9-16, 2017
Travel Fee: $2900


 

Previous International Courses (Immersion 2016):

 

Dominican Republic: Environmental Service (Grades 9-12)

In partnership with Rustic Pathways, this hands-on course will allow students to explore how environmental challenges can be addressed at the grassroots level. Prior to leaving on December 9, students will work on campus to explore topics in environmental challenges in the Caribbean. In the Dominican REpublic, working with a local marine research and conservation group, students will learn first-hand about the issues involved in marine protection and conservation in there. From their home base in the beach town of Bayhibe, students will examine coral reef health and explore the indigenous and invasive species that are part of the reef's ecosystem. Service learning projects include the construction of coral structure, performing erosion analysis, marine monitoring of dolphins and joining an ongoing reef analysis study. Students also explore the interrelationship between connecting ecosystems, and how urban development impacts environmental protection efforts. In addition to their work in the field, the group will learn more about the history and culture of the DR. 
Kelly Ghaffery
Dates of Travel: December 9-17, 2016
Travel Fee: $2600
Minimum number of students: 12

 


England: Classic and Modern British Theatre in London’s West End (Grades 9-12)

Travel to England, the homeland of Shakespeare, Wilde and Pinter, to learn firsthand about the culture that produced such a rich history of theatre. Study the context, biographies and textual styles of great British playwrights, then see their works performed in historically listed theatres by the world’s greatest classically trained actors. From our base in London’s West End, we will explore Westminster, Shakespeare’s Globe and The National Theatre, as well as see contemporary work performed at some of the smaller boutique theatres in North London. We conclude with a three day wrap-up on campus, including student presentations, projects and short films analyzing the experience.

Oliver Savage
Dates of Travel: December 9-14, 2016
Travel Fee: $2700
Minimum number of students: 16


Ocean Sailing and Navigation (Grades 9-12)

Welcome aboard the 130-foot schooner Roseway for a seven-day sailing adventure in the Carribbean!  We will be partnering with the World Ocean School (WOS), a leader in experiential training programs, to learn the time-honored arts of the seafarer – setting and trimming sails, steering, navigation, line handling and knots, and emergency procedures.  All students will participate fully in the 24-hour life of the ship, including standing watch with the professional crew and performing the daily operational aspects of the voyage including meal prep and cleanup.  The emphasis here will be to learn about the teamwork and leadership skills necessary to create an effective community aboard ship. Prior to our departure to Antigua, we will begin to focus on the two major academic objectives of the trip: navigation skills and marine ecology. Navigation studies begin with basic chart plotting, using many of the tools sailors used prior to the age of electronics.  The challenge of pinpointing a ship’s position and plotting its course will progress from simple “dead reckoning” techniques through two- and three-bearing fixes, and we will begin to apply astronomical sightings using sextants toward the end of the voyage, as we plot an overnight passage.  These navigational techniques will enable students to understand the complex workings behind GPS units, which are so common today.  Our marine ecology unit will focus on pollution and its effects on the oceans and marine life.  We will begin by studying the global ocean currents by which pollutants are distributed throughout the world, and students will read about the great “garbage patches” located in the central oceans and discuss various approaches to solving this truly international problem.

Dave Badger and Sarah Moretz
Dates of Travel: December 9-16, 2016
Travel Fee: $2900
Minimum number of students: 15

 

 

Spanish Language Immersion in Málaga, Spain (Grades 9-12)

Situated on the Costa del Sol along the Mediterranean, Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world, an ancient crossroads for Phoenician, Roman, Moor, and Christian cultures. Students will have the opportunity to explore this diverse and historically significant region in depth while “living the language” during this 10-day trip offered in conjunction with EF Educational Tours. The program begins with a walking tour of Malaga followed by a one-day excursion to Granada. Traversing steep, narrow streets with spectacular views, students will explore this city’s Moorish Islamic culture–from the Acera del Darro, Granada’s main shopping street, to the Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The five days of language instruction, led by certified native Spanish speakers at the Málaga Language Institute,will take us into the city, building our language skills. We will learn to dance Flamenco and barter for food at the Mercado Central de Atarazanas. There will be paella, of course–and cooking lessons taught by a local chef. We will learn Spanish history on an excursion to the Nerja cave paintings. We will spend a day with Spanish students, join a local family for dinner, and visit the Museo Picasso Málaga (the city is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso). The last day will be spent exploring the fishing villages and beaches of Torremolinos along the Costa del Sol.

Susan Biales
Dates of Travel: December 9-17, 2016
Travel Fee: $3900
Minimum number of students: 15

 

 

China Exploration (Grades 9-12)

With 1.32 billion people in 3.7 million square miles, China is the world’s largest country, its oldest civilization (the origin of gunpowder, porcelain, and noodles) and its fastest-growing economy. This twelve-day program, offered in conjunction with EF Educational Tours, will introduce you to ancient and contemporary China while teaching you the basics of Mandarin, one of the world’s great languages. Our first two days are spent exploring the history, legends, and customs of Beijing and its environs: we will visit Tiananmen Square, attend a spectacular kung fu performance, walk a segment of the Great Wall and experience a traditional tea ceremony. Language instruction, led by native Mandarin speakers, is fully interactive: you’ll acquire a vocabulary and learn pronunciation as you participate in a calligraphy lesson, visit a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, shop at a local food market, and try your hand at cooking traditional Chinese dishes. In the months before the program, you will be paired with a Chinese pen pal and have an opportunity to hang out together in real time.For the last two days of our trip we will travel south on one of China’s famous bullet trains to Shanghai, the world’s largest city. Our guided tour will take in everything from the World Financial Center to the Yu Yuan Garden to a dazzling performance of Chinese acrobatics.

Thomas Wong and Nicollee Inguagiato
Dates of Travel: December 9-17, 2016
Travel Fee: $3900
Minimum number of students: 15

  

Italy: The Art & Culture of Florence (Grades 11-12) 

Students in this immersion will have a unique opportunity to explore the visual artworks and cultural traditions of Florence, a vibrant city and jewel of Italy’s Renaissance. Over eight days, the city’s bustling contemporary streets and historical sites will serve as both classroom and departure points for learning.  Students will experience the extraordinary artworks in the Uffizi Gallery and L’Accademia (such as Michelangelo’s David) and explore the city, including its Duomo, a glorious 15th century cathedral, which remains an impressive feat of engineering to this day. We will take a one-day field trip to the Tuscan hill town of Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage site with beautiful medieval buildings and the famous shell-shaped Piazza del Campo. Through focused observation and discussion, we will consider how social, economic, political and geographical factors have shaped the creative forms of Italy’s culture. Students will learn the art and science of perspective, participate in a fresco workshop, and experience Italy’s rich culinary culture through a cooking lesson. No previous Italian language experience necessary for this course, only the desire to explore new ways of seeing and different places…Chi cerca trova!

Mike Minelli and Karen Dunbar
Dates of travel: December 9-17, 2016
Travel fee: $3400
Minimum number of students: 16

 

 

All international trips require that students have a passport valid for travel until at least June 2017. For all immersion courses with an additional fee, limited financial aid is available. Financial aid information and forms can be found on the Immersion Financial Aid page.

Please e-mail Laurie Lew or Margie Llinas, Co-Directors of Immersion Programs, with questions about international trips or any other aspects of the program. 

 

 

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