International Field Studies
St. Mary’s is pleased to announce the addition of three international field studies opportunities. Field studies are a critical aspect of the IB curriculum and we want to continually enhance the experiences we offer to our students. In addition to our Italian exchange program, we are pleased to introduce three new field studies destinations: Hong Kong, France, and Costa Rica. These trips are designed to enhance student learning and promote personal growth. Please note that preference will be given to students in eighth grade and students enrolled in the target languages.
The Costa Rica field study provides students with the irreplaceable opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture of this wonderful Spanish-speaking country. Students are exposed to biodynamic farming, ecology, history, culture and language through two unique educational and travel philosophies: the Story Approach and
Expedition Mentality. They meet local leaders and visionaries such as Juan Sostheim, owner of Rancho Margot. Nestled between rain and cloud forests in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Rancho Margot offers outdoor classrooms where students feel inspired to treat their surroundings and those around them with respect. These beliefs and attitudes are later realized as students engage in authentic and meaningful service learning, positively affecting the lives of indigenous people in Costa Rica. All of this, while exploring and having in the background the vast rain forest and breathtaking beaches of one the greenest countries in the world.
The France field study offers students a fun, enriching experience into the history and culture of France. Students embark on a journey throughout Paris’ famous landmarks: The Louvre, Champs Élysées, Arc de Triumph, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the unforgettable ascending of the Eiffel Tower. A visit to The Chateau of Versailles and Monet’s gardens in Giverny are also part of the itinerary. A private, guided tour is taken throughout the beautiful landscapes of Burgundy, Dijon and the site of Alesia, the place where Julius Ceasar marched into France. Visits are made to a local vineyard then the French expedition extends to Nice on the Riviera, a perfume factory and a medieval village with a castle perched on the coast, and then the palace of Monaco. Students experience all the beauty France has to offer: the language, the picturesque scenery and the famous French cuisine, while walking in the footsteps of Louis XIV, Napoleon and Victor Hugo. C’est la vie!
The Hong Kong field study is an amazing opportunity for students to use their language skills and be immersed in the Chinese culture. Hong Kong is a modern city with a unique blend of Chinese culture mixed with British influence. Some of the highlights of our private tour include riding a tram
to Victoria Peak, visiting the largest Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery, learning about the history of Hong Kong, and tasting authentic dim sum. This field study serves as an extension of classroom learning. Students use their language skills to successfully order food and shop. But most importantly, students gain an appreciation for the Chinese culture while developing skills to become global citizens.
Italian Exchange Program
St. Mary’s partners with the International School of Milan (ISM) in Milan, Italy to provide an exchange program for our and their Middle School students. ISM, a Kindergarten-Grade 12 IB World School, is the largest international school in Italy and this dynamic exchange program helps
students to develop internationally-minded attitudes, experience new perspectives, gain in-depth knowledge of Italian culture and people, and create friendships and memories that last a lifetime. This unique partnership offers St. Mary’s families the opportunity to host an international student in their homes where they help an ISM student learn about American culture. Students from St. Mary’s later journey to Milan, Italy to reconnect with ISM students, where they stay in host family homes. In addition to a week spent with host families, St. Mary’s students and chaperones also travel throughout Italy to delve further into Italian culture.