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
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), a long-term exchange (from a semester to two years) or a focused trip (two weeks). Our focused trips tend to occur over scheduled breaks. At any point in the school year, one is likely to find international students at Laurel from one of our three exchange programs. The Passport program has a three-year trip rotation for its school-sponsored trip offerings. The rotation includes a variety of offerings in terms of location as well as purpose.
Upper School Passport Program Trip for Spring Break 2017
March 2017 Science and Research Trip to Bahamas (with University School)
In partnership with University School, Laurel is pleased to make this trip offering to upper school students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades for the 2016-17 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, up to five Laurel students will spend a week conducting ecological research (and snorkeling!) in this terrific habitat.
Upper School Passport Program Trips for MayTerm 2017
MayTerm 2017 Art/Art History Trip to Italy, France and Spain
Offered in partnership with Explorica Educational Travel and Student Tours, this trip will be similar to the popular MayTerm 2014 trip to Italy, France, and Spain. A detailed preliminary itinerary can be found HERE.
MayTerm 2017 Service Trip to Peru
During MayTerm of 2017, Laurel School, in partnership with Andean Discovery, will offer a service-based trip to Peru. A detailed preliminary itinerary can be found HERE. While the itinerary mentions a "home stay" component, the group instead will experience a "community stay" in which all the students and chaperones will sleep in the same building within the rural community. We anticipate this trip will include around 25 service hours.
MayTerm 2017 Exchange to Xi'an, China
This tour is organized through Laurel's unique and terrific relationship with the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jioatong University in Xi'an, China. It is open to all upper school students, though this group will be smaller (4-8 students). The dates, itinerary, and prices will be finalized over the summer and advertised in the Fall of the 2016-17 school year. While the group will see a number of cities, the highlight will be a week-long stay with our host school and families in Xi'an.
9th Grade Exchange with St. Mary's Anglican Girls' School in Perth, Australia
This short-term exchange begins with MayTerm, 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 November and December 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 Summer 2017 Trip
June 2017 Trip to Montreal & Quebec City
Offered in partnership with Jumpstreet Tours to students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 for the 2016-17 school year, this trip will showcase the highlights of French Canada in Montreal & Quebec City. The group will travel to Canada the week after school finishes in June. There will be a combination of touring in the two cities, participating in various activities, and a visit at a French school. The itinerary can be found HERE.
Upper School Summer 2017 Travel to South Korea or Colombia
Interested in traveling with Upper School students from other independent schools from around the nation to South Korea or Colombia during June/July of 2017? Please contact Trey Wilson at tWilson@LaurelSchool.org.
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 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