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), 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 2018
March 2018 Science and Research Trip to Bahamas
In partnership with University School, Laurel is pleased to make this trip offering to Upper School students for the 2017-18 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.
March 2018 Collaborative Trip to Lakota Nation, South Dakota
In partnership with Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City and Agnes Irwin School in Philadelphia, Laurel is pleased to make this trip offering to Upper School students in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades for the 2017-18 school year! Offered during the first week of Spring Break, students will travel to the Lakota Nation in South Dakota. Students will participate in lessons from Facing History about the history of Native people in the US, including the history of Indian boarding schools, discussions about current issues for Native people (land rights, addiction, etc.) and read selected non-fiction and fictional work by Native Americans with the goal of understanding their history in the US, particularly the Lakota people.
Upper School Passport Program Trips for MayTerm 2017
MayTerm 2018 Conservation & Social Justice Trip to South Africa
South Africa is a land of wild beauty and offers world-class adventure activities. In partnership with EduTours Africa, participants will have the opportunity to learn about South Africa’s wildlife and to be actively involved in conservation efforts to protect and preserve South Africa’s rich natural heritage. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about a country that learnt to heal itself and move beyond a racially segregated and deeply troubled past.
"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
MayTerm 2018 Service Trip to New Orleans
Similar to the 2016 MayTerm service-based trip that took 26 upper school students to this amazing American city, this trip will be approximately one week long during MayTerm. It will be run through the company Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.
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 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
June 2018 Trip to Boston
Offered in partnership with Jumpstreet Tours (www.jumpstreet.com) to students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 for the 2017-18 school year, this trip will showcase the highlights of Boston, including Plymouth Plantation and Salem. The group will travel to Canada the week after school finishes in June. The itinerary can be found HERE.
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
- America’s West
- Art/Art History Trip to Italy, France and Spain
- Drama at the Stratford Festival in Canada
- Exchange with school in Xi’an China
- Montreal and Quebec City
- Service Learning in Dominican Republic
- Service Trip to Peru
Parents: Even more information on Passport trips, including application forms, can be found on the Passport Program PowerSchool page.