St. Mary's An IB World School

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International Field Studies

St. Mary’s is pleased to offer four international field study 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 offer three field study destinations: China/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.


Dates: April 5 - April 18, 2019

Applicants: Open to students in Grades 7 & 8

Field Study Leader: Vince Fragasso
Students with city of Florence in background

St. Mary’s partners with the International School of Milan (ISM) to provide an exchange program for both of our schools. ISM, a Kindergarten to Grade 12 World School, is the largest international school in Italy. This dynamic exchange program helps students develop internationally-minded attitudes, experience new perspectives, gain in-depth knowledge of Italian culture and create friendships and memories that last a lifetime. This unique partnership offers St. Mary’s families the opportunity to host an ISM student in their homes. Later, our students journey to Milan where they reconnect with ISM students while staying in host family homes and attending ISM. During their travels, students will tour Rome, Florence, Venice and Pisa and explore Ancient Roman, Medieval and Renaissance historical sites, experience the great art and architecture found there, and embrace the wonderful culture, cuisine and customs of the area. The tour is inspired by and supports the middle school history curriculum.

China and Hong Kong 

Dates: April 8 - April 16, 2019

Applicants: Open to students in Grades 7 & 8

Field Study Leader: Olivia Chang

Students in Hong Kong in front of pagoda

The China and Hong Kong field study is an amazing opportunity for students to use their language skills and be immersed in the Chinese culture. Our first stop is Beijing, the capital of China, which is one of the world's oldest cities. Our private tour includes Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Kunming Lake and the amazing Great Wall. Additional activities include an authentic cooking class, a traditional Chinese calligraphy class, as well as a demonstration of Tai Chi. Next, the group will travel to Hong Kong, which is a modern city with a unique blend of Chinese culture mixed with British influence. Highlights of our private tour include riding the tram to Victoria Peak, visiting the largest Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery and spending the day at Ocean Park. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime journey as we travel and experience the very best of Beijing and Hong Kong. Not only will students have an opportunity to use their language skills, but more importantly students will gain an appreciation for the Chinese culture while developing skills to become global citizens.
The trip to China and Hong Kong is only available every other year. 


Dates: April 7 - April 17, 2019

Applicants: Open to students in Grades 7 & 8

Field Study Leader: Ludivine Forte

students jumping in air in front of Eiffel Tower

The France field study offers a fun and enriching experience into the history and culture of France. Students embark on a journey throughout Paris’ famous landmarks: The Louvre, Champs Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the unforgettable ascending of the Eiffel Tower. The experience also includes a visit to The Chateau de Versailles, Monet’s gardens in Giverny, and a trip to the countryside and Normandy, where we will gain personal and historical perspectives on the experiences of WWII soldiers. We will visit D-Day beaches, the Memorial Museum and the American Military Cemetery and pause to pay our respect to the soldiers. The south of France and Monaco are also part of our itinerary. 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!

Costa Rica

Dates: April 7 - April 16, 2019

Applicants: Open to students in Grades 6, 7 & 8

Field Study Leader: Arturo Valdez  

The St. Mary's field study to Costa Rica offers our students the irreplaceable opportunity to immerse themselves in the language, the culture, the green lifestyle and the positive mentality of this wonderful Spanish-speaking country. With the rainforest, the countless rivers and the vast flora and fauna in the background, our students take part in daily activities aimed at expanding not only their knowledge and their personal experiences but their understanding of the world as well. Our students explore, discover, learn, build relationships and engage in meaningful and sustainable service. At the core of this field study is the collaboration and partnership that we have with the Monte Sion School, which is located in the Cabecar indigenous region. Here, St. Mary's students and chaperones work hand-in-hand with all members of the school community making improvements to the school. Our travels take us from Rancho Margot, nestled between rain and cloud forests in a UNESCO biosphere reserve at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, to Puerto Viejo and the Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge by the Caribbean Sea. Throughout our journey, we meet local and global leaders and visionaries who deeply care for the protection of the environment and inspire us to make the world a better place to live in. All of this while having the time of our lives. ¡Pura Vida!