Grades 9 and 10 Experience Once-in-a-Lifetime Trips Around the Globe

January 2016

Exhausted but still bursting with excitement from the week-long immersion trips, Grade 9 and 10 students have now settled back into their Saint Andrew’s classrooms. After what they could only describe as “amazing trips,” students returned with new experiences of the world around them and wonderful memories.  

These Immersion Programs also gave students the opportunity to learn about academic subjects in ways that would be difficult within the structure of the typical school day. Students chose between 11 different topics and locations. Options included musical theater studies in New York City, cultural studies in Costa Rica, ceramics and rock and roll lessons on campus, and math studies in Quebec and Montreal.

Alyson Brady ‘19, who spent eight days in New Orleans rebuilding houses and exploring, describes just how incredible her trip was saying, “I could not have asked for a better immersion with any other people in any other place. During our time spent In New Orleans I may have explored the French Quarter, shopped, and had 3 1/2 beignets, but what I will remember most will be the memories I made with my friends and the lessons I learned through volunteering to help the New Orlean's community.”

In Thailand, students spent much of their time helping locals. Caroline Fulton ‘19 stated, “This was such an amazing experience for me. It was so interesting to see the obvious differences between America and Udon Thani, such as the housing, food, and way of life. But what I thought was more interesting was seeing the way in which SA students and the Thai people are similar; we all care so much for our families and the people we love. Living in completely different parts of the world doesn't change that. This trip was amazing and I hope I have an opportunity to do something similar to this again.”

Students who traveled to The Galapagos saw things they never expected, according to group leader Mr. Vincent Campanaro. "It was a week full of science, photography, snorkeling and hiking that won’t soon be forgotten. The Galapagos immersion asked our students to step out of their comfort zone. Each of the three islands we visited had its own unique flair. San Cristobal and the daunting snorkeling at Kicker Rock; Isabella with its crystal clear water, 2,000 inhabitants, and an active volcano; and Santa Cruz, home to one of the premiere scientific field stations in the world. And those tortoises, let’s not forget about the tortoises!"

Maggie Brent ‘19, who was part of the Life Aquatic group, chose to stay local to explore the ocean and Florida’s native wildlife. “This trip has been amazing. I learned so much more about ocean life, and it was so great bonding with classmates through the trip. I can’t wait for next year when I get to go on another immersion!”

The program, in its inaugural year at Saint Andrew’s, proved to be wildly successful. Director of Student Life and Experiential Education Jason Glick explained:

“I couldn’t be happier with the manner in which our first year of Immersion unfolded. The campus has been absolutely abuzz today with classmates sharing their respective experiences with one another, and it appears as if all were truly satisfied and enriched by their choice of courses. Regardless of where each student traveled or what his or her focus of study happened to be, all of our students challenged themselves whilst exploring their passions; and the promise of wisdom, emotional growth, and renewed perspective has been fulfilled.”

Mr. Glick is thrilled to make these trips an annual affair and can’t wait to start planning next year’s Immersion trips.

2016 Student Immersions:

The Galapagos- Darwin’s Living Laboratory

Advanced Space Academy

Medical Service and Wilderness First Aid in Thailand- *Service Learning Venture*

The Life Aquatic- Scuba, Conservation, Adventure Photography, and South Florida’s Natural Beauty

Capture That Dragon Literary Magazine

Rebuilding New Orleans- *Service Learning Venture*

Ceramics and Silk Screening

Costa Rica - Pura Vida!

Math and More Come Alive in Canada

Performing Arts’ Unique New York

School of Rock

In Development for 2017: “Purely Puerto Rico” “The Spirit of Silicon Valley” “Feeling Cuba” “Photography Immersion in Panama” “Outward Bound in Florida” “Italian Painting and Architecture in Florence” “Molecular Gastronomy” “Caribbean Sailing Adventure”

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