Pace Academy’s Isdell Center for Global Leadership
(ICGL) strives to fulfill the school’s mission to create prepared, confident citizens of the world—and travel plays a key role in that endeavor.
This past summer, groups of Lower, Middle, and Upper School students and faculty advisors traveled the world on ICGL study tours. Trips touched down in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Scandinavia, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Peru, Ghana, Malawi, Cambridge and Glacier National Park.
Oh, the places they went…
Rising sixth graders spent a week living in an eco-lodge in the Chilamate region of Costa Rica as part of Pace’s partnership with World Leadership School
. Students volunteered with children at a local school and engaged in activities such as cooking, hiking and whitewater rafting.
Middle Schoolers chose between exploring Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Scandinavia or the Dominican Republic. Twelve students journeyed through Nicaragua and Costa Rica on a science and adventure-focused trip, which included exciting experiences ranging from enjoying a volcanic mud spa to learning how to surf and zip lining through the jungles.
Another group toured Norway and Denmark to take a bite out of FOOD, the ICGL’s 2015-2016 annual theme. They visited a Norwegian organic farm to learn about the New Nordic Diet and explored both countries by kayak and bike.
The third Middle School study tour included service, culture, and adventure in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The group partnered with Project Esperanza
, a nonprofit organization that serves the Dominican Republic’s Haitian community, and worked as camp counselors. Relationships formed with the local children allowed for discussion about the ICGL themes of FOOD and WATER and their effects across the globe.
Upper School students participated in five ICGL study tours this summer. These adventures ranged from the annual academic-focused trip to Cambridge University to hiking Glacier National Park to using outdoor pit latrines in Madagascar.
Nine students and three faculty chaperones explored the world of the ancient Inca in Peru. Students walked through salt mines, hiked Machu Picchu, took a cooking class and gained an abundance of information about potatoes. The group even got up close and personal with llamas and alpacas.
Another group embarked on a 16-day, life-changing trip to Madagascar, where students learned that the country is nothing like the 2005 Dreamworks film. The group studied Madagascar’s biodiversity, hiking for hours in the lush rainforests and taking in the wide and colorful Malagasy sky. A second portion of the trip included service projects; students interacted with local people while building concrete bases for village water cisterns and teaching local young people computer basics.
Following the ICGL’s Year of FOOD, the Upper School’s four Isdell Global Leaders and other interested students traveled to Ghana and Malawi, where they partnered with the Atlanta-based non-profit CARE
to explore sustainable agriculture in the developing nations. They also worked alongside farmers from both countries on CARE farms created to address issues of food and water insecurity.
Closer to home, Glacier National Park hosted a group of Upper School adventurers for a week of outdoor exploration. The group hiked more than 10 miles each day, rain or shine, and camped throughout the park and in the backcountry. Along the way, students encountered a variety of wildlife—they even caught a glimpse of a black bear!
Students’ summer travels concluded with an academic-focused trip to Cambridge University. At Cambridge, Pace’s future economists engaged in lectures covering topics such as “The Ethics of Money,” “The History of Science” and “Why Shakespeare Matters.” In addition to their coursework, students also explored London, punted along the River Cam and played croquet on the lawn of Madingley Hall.
– by Alexis Wilkins ’17
Students’ travels are made possible in part by the Parents Club’s Citizens of the World Travel Grant Program, which provides airfare once during a student’s Middle School years, and once during his or her Upper School tenure.