Laurel’s Global Education Program supports cultural competence through trips, exchanges and curriculum. Educated global citizens bring a broader perspective to their studies and learn to interact with their peers in a global arena.
Throughout each division and grade, Laurel’s curriculum cultivates a keen awareness in the many cultures that populate our planet. Starting in Middle School, Laurel students become eligible to participate in the school’s signature Passport program, which encompasses semester-away and exchange partnerships with schools and communities around the world, as well as a curriculum grounded in global awareness. Whether Laurel students travel the globe literally or are immersed in it figuratively, they learn to interpret worlds different from their own and to become global citizens for the 21st Century.
How It Works
"Extremely fun trip. This trip helped me to create friendships and help boost my confidence socially. The trip also got me out of my comfort zone by allowing me [to experience] someone else's culture." —Alura
Each Passport program is motivated by two objectives: to teach students about other parts of the world, and where appropriate, to emphasize the role of service in the global environment. Individual programs might be a short-term exchange (up to a month) or a focused trip (two weeks). Our focused trips tend to occur over scheduled breaks or at the end of the year to minimize school days missed. At any point in the school year, one is likely to find international students at Laurel from one of our three partnerships with exchange programs. Many of the trips are offered on rotation; some are annual. The rotation includes a variety of offerings in terms of location, purpose/areas of emphasis, and price points.
Upper School Passport Program Trip for Spring Break 2019
March 2019 Marine Biology & Adventure Trip to the Bahamas
In partnership with University School, Laurel is pleased to make this annual trip offering to Upper School students for the 2018-19 school year! Offered during the second week of Spring Break and using the terrific facilities of the Island School in Cape Eleuthera in The Bahamas, this trip allows five Laurel students to spend a week conducting ecological research and being adventurous in this terrific habitat. Girls learn about sustainability, invasive species, and aquaponics, while also jumping into the ocean, biking, and snorkeling.
March 2019 Young Women’s Leadership in the Dominican Republic
In partnership with Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City, Agnes Irwin School in Philadelphia and Westridge School in Pasadena, Laurel is pleased to offer a collaborative experience to Upper School students in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades for the 2018-19 school year! Offered during the first week of Spring Break, students will travel to the Dominican Republic. Students will spend a day in the life of a leader in their Dominican community, will have the opportunity to compare their daily lives with local youth group members, and will explore how organizations help people living in some of the Dominican’s most vulnerable communities. As this is a joint-trip between multiple girls’ schools, participants will also have the opportunity to build relationships and collaborate with peers from like-minded schools.
Upper School Passport Program Trips for May 2019
May 2019 Peru’s Ancient Cultures/Service Trip
Offered in partnership with Andean Discoveries (www.studentexpeditions.com), Laurel is excited to offer this trip for the second time. While in Peru, students will visit Machu Picchu and Cuzco, while also spending days in indigenous villages. A service component will be developed to support a community initiative focused on development and public health.
"This was a great experience and I had a fun time while also learning a lot. Our tour guide was great and really worked with us and our needs as a whole group. I felt we learned a lot and also got to know everyone else we were on the trip with we would not usually talk to." —Linnea
May 2019 Prague, Vienna and Budapest – Then and Now
Offered in partnership with Passports (www.passports.com), we are excited to offer a visit to three beautiful cities in Central Europe to look at what is new and what is old. Among the sites that we will see are the beautiful Church of St. Nicholas in Prague, the Estates Theater where Mozart staged Don Giovanni, the spot where Hitler announced Anschluss with Austria, and the Terezin Memorial Concentration Camp. All of these cities have beautiful old towns with narrow streets and interesting buildings where we will walk and imagine what Medieval life was like. This trip is a wonderful balance of history and present day exploring.
9th Grade Exchange with St. Mary's Anglican Girls' School in Perth, Australia
This short-term exchange begins at the end of May, when two Laurel 9th graders travel to Perth, Australia to spend approximately 6 weeks with a host family at St. Mary's Anglican Girls' School. The second part of the exchange occurs in October and November of the following school year, when the two St. Mary's host students come to Cleveland to spend 6 weeks here at Laurel! Neither institution charges tuition or fees for the visiting students, and no academic credits are given to the visiting students.
Middle School Passport Program Trip for March 2019
March 2019 Adventure Trip to Southwest USA
In partnership with Grand Classroom (www.grandclassroom.com), Laurel School is thrilled to offer this adventure trip to Arizona and Utah. Girls will build their resiliency through hiking, rock climbing, and floating in the amazing landscapes of the Southwest while learning some geology and history of this unique area of our country.
Laurel School is thrilled for students to consider fantastic semester-away opportunities such as those offered by our five partner semester-away programs:
High Mountain Institute: www.hminet.org
The Island School: www.islandschool.org
The Mountain School: www.mountainschool.org
School for Ethics and Global Leadership: schoolforethics.org
Reflections from Laurel Students about Passport Trips
- “Traveling to France and Italy for MayTerm was the experience of a lifetime.” —Danielle
- “Paris was absolutely magical—something you always hear about but can never really understand until you experience it yourself.” —Bryannna
- "I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I wish I could relive it." —Ollivia
Laurel’s Past Passport Trips:
“I unlocked a passion for drawing that I was unaware I had. I formed unbreakable connections with not only the students but also with the teachers that went. I am so grateful for my experience.” —Veronica
- Art/Art History Trip to Italy, France and Spain
- Conservation and Social Justice Trip to South Africa
- Drama at the Stratford Festival in Canada
- Exchange with school in Xi’an China
- Montreal and Quebec City
- Service Trip to New Orleans
Parents: Even more information on Passport trips, including application forms, can be found on the Passport Program PowerSchool page.