Middle School Study Tours

The ICGL Outcomes (Leadership, Global Mindset, Cultural Awareness and Appreciation, Engaged Citizenship, and International Experience) are integrated into all of our study tours with the goal of creating global leaders who can make a positive difference in the world, both now and in the future. By developing students’ understanding of the world, enlarging their curiosity, and developing their practical leadership skills, study tours help our students develop awareness of, and sensitivity to, real life issues.  

2019-2020 ICGL STUDY TOURS

Australia

February 26 - March 8, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Cultural Exchange, Indigenous Cultures, Conservation, Community Engagement

Travel in 4x4s, hike through magnificent gorges, swim under waterfalls and camp under stars like you’ve never seen before as we explore the “off the beaten paths” of Australia. Get to know Aboriginal Australians through cultural exchange and service projects in the outback. Help rehabilitate sick and injured wildlife. Hang out amongst kangaroos, wallabies, birds, cows and horses on a working cattle ranch and see jumping crocodiles in an action-packed Aussie community engagement adventure!

We will begin our journey in Darwin, touring the Adelaide River and exploring and understanding the indigenous wildlife. Later, we will practice spear-throwing, taste local plant life and take a crack at the didgeridoo! From there, the group will travel to Kununurra to interact with Aboriginal youth and to investigate how waste is handled in the outback. Along the way, we will admire local rock art formations, swim, hike and enjoy some of the most famous sunsets in the world. At the end of the trip, we will journey to Australia’s most famous city: Sydney. Marvel at the Opera House, enjoy the skyline from a harbor cruise and visit Bondi Beach, amongst the most famous in the world.

Approximate cost: $2,900 ($4,900 with airfare)

Belize

February 28 - March 7, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Marine Ecology, Conservation, Environmental Stewardship

Escape the crowds and head to southern Belize and the crystalline waters of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve with Ecology Project International (EPI). Under the guidance of local marine biologists, you will get to know the natural beauty of Belize as you participate in scientific work to help conserve and preserve the flora and fauna of the coral reefs and rainforests. Learn about Belize’s tropical ecology and cultural history as you locate and collect data about manatees and seagrass beds, snorkel in azure waters with the resident dolphin pod, explore mangroves, visit a jaguar sanctuary, hike to picturesque waterfalls and discover the diverse mammals living in the lush Belizean rainforest. Throw in some tasty chocolate-making at a local Maya cultural center, and your Belizean spring break is complete!

Approximate cost: $3,200 ($4,000 with airfare)

China

February 26 - March 7, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Culture, Cultural Exchange, History

On this journey through China, students will travel to Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and two mountain villages. Students will learn about the environmental consequences of development and progress, how they relate to the world as a whole, and how they impact local communities and individuals. In collaboration with The Hutong, students will experience China’s rich history and culture through interactive activities and exploration of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Volunteer at the panda base in Chengdu and hand feed these amazing animals. Then, roll up your sleeves and experience a spicy hot pot dinner in the Szechuan province before traveling to Shanghai to engage in a school exchange with local children and learn Kung Fu together. Students will get an authentic taste of the changing face of China, a nation evolving faster than ever before. 

Approximate Cost: $3,500 ($4,800 with airfare) 

Colombia

February 28 - March 7, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Culture, Environment and Impacts of Tourism, Cultural Exchange

With its turbulent past quickly receding, economic growth, peaceful stability and tourism are on the rise throughout the country, and visitors are excitedly rediscovering the remarkable diversity and friendliness of Colombia. This South American nation offers incredible lessons in global citizenship, environmental stewardship, and mutual respect across economic and racial identities. On this study tour, we will learn about Colombia’s history while discovering its modern reality as we engage with the people who make up the country’s vibrant mosaic—from indigenous rainforest tribes to coffee plantation workers. We will experience some of Colombia’s bustling colonial cities such as Bogota and Cartagena, as well as trek in the magnificent Tayrona National Park, a 37,000-acre ecotourism park with reefs, rainforests, beaches, mangroves and Indian ruins.  Along the way, we will get to know young people and build community, savor Afro-Caribbean fusion cuisine, learn to dance Cumbia and Salsa, shop modern and traditional markets and snorkel vibrant coastal reefs on tropical beaches.

Approximate cost: $3,200 ($3,700 with airfare)

Kenya

February 26 (night flight)- March 8, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Community Engagement and Cultural Exchange, Conservation, and Global Health

Elephants, lions, baboons... oh my! Join an adventure to East Africa, where we will experience Kenyan culture as we partner with CARE for AIDS, an organization working to end the orphan crisis in Kenya by empowering HIV+ parents to live long, healthy lives. Students will live together in a house for most of the week, getting to know the neighborhood and engaging with a local community as we organize a sports and arts day camp for local children and visit Kenyan homes to converse and prepare and share meals. We will explore the diversity of Kenya as we become part of the daily rhythm of life in Nairobi and also venture out to a local school, a sanctuary for baby elephants and into the nearby Hells Gate National Park (with its towering cliffs, deep gorges, stark rock towers, volcanoes and plumes of geothermal steam, it was the inspiration for the scenery in The Lion King) for a night of camping in addition to trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking and swimming in a geothermal pool. Our Kenyan sojourn will conclude with a thrilling three-day safari in the Masai Mara Conservancy (a 45-minute flight from Nairobi and connected to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park), where we will view prides of lions and herds of wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffalo, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, baboons, hartebeests, hippos and more! A highlight of the study tour will be meeting a Masai family while on safari and learning more about the Masai people and their unique, rich culture.

Approximate cost: $3,200 ($4,400 with airfare)

Berlin, Hamburg and Copenhagen

May 25 - June 5, 2020 

Lenses of Inquiry: Design, Art, Culture

What makes a city a desirable place to live? Why are some cities considered urban utopias and others urban chaos? What is the role of design in making a city thrive? This study tour begins in the city of Atlanta where, during their second semester, our trip participants will consult with architects, urban planners, and city activists to learn about efforts to make Atlanta a fun and sustainable place to live. We will focus primarily on the role of ‘play’ for city design—as this is an area of expertise for our students—as well as a focus on waste production and management—as this is the ICGL global theme for the year.

Over the summer, we will continue this same discovery work with the help of Atlas Workshops in three European cities: Berlin, Hamburg and Copenhagen. In each place, we will visit with local designers, artists, entrepreneurs and city activists who shape their cities into vibrant, sustainable places. Highlights of the trip include working with local street artists in Berlin, kayaking canals in Hamburg, visiting the inspiration for Disneyland and the birthplace of LEGO in Copenhagen, hiking a ski slope built atop an energy plant by a renowned Danish designer and a side trip to Malmo for a bicycle design workshop. Along the way, in each city, we sample the local culture— from (family friendly) beer halls to swimming in city harbors to making and eating local cuisine. 

Approximate cost: $3,400 ($4,800 with airfare)

Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

May 23 - June 2, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Culture, Adventure, Community Engagement

Students on this study tour will explore the rich history of the Balkans by visiting small towns and big cities in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. We will work with Rustic Pathways, a student-travel company committed to providing authentic and safe cultural exchanges all around the world. Students will spend days in the world famous cities of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Dubrovnik, Croatia, while meeting local people and learning their stories. We will engage with history, past and present, and learn about the complexities of this crossroads of civilization. We will encounter local traditions, explore the region's recent conflict, and sample cuisine from the Dalmatian Coast to the Bosnian Mountains. Incorporating our ICGL annual theme of Waste, we will spend two days serving with a local nonprofit to study the challenges of waste in a tourist-heavy region.

Highlights of the trip include white-water rafting down the breathtaking Neretva River, camping in a mountain-top ethno-village, kayaking some of Croatia's most beautiful beaches, visiting ancient palaces and city walls, experiencing Islamic mystiques from the rule of the Ottoman Empire and developing relationships with our local guides, who will teach us about culture, service and humanity in the Balkans.

Approximate cost: $2,900 ($4,400 with airfare)

Dominican Republic

June 28 -July 6, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Community Engagement, Cultural Exchange, Youth and Education

Students on this study tour will experience both Dominican and Haitian cultures and establish authentic connections with community members as they engage with Project Esperanza, a non-profit organization that serves disadvantaged Haitian children living in the Dominican Republic. Students will develop leadership skills and earn 15 community engagement hours by serving as camp counselors for Haitian children. Camp activities will include sports, art, music, games, English lessons and more.                                                 

Additionally, Pace students will build relationships with their Haitian peers during afternoon activities and excursions. Together with their new friends, they will visit a cacao farm to learn about chocolate production, enjoy cooking lessons, hiking, beach time, snorkeling and horseback riding. 

This study tour is offered as a partnership between ICGL and Pace’s Office for Community Engagement to both Middle and Upper School students, with the shared goals of fostering understanding of the importance and meaning of community engagement at Pace and beyond, and of developing empathy, leadership skills and awareness to inspire action.

Approximate cost: $1,600 ($2,300 with airfare)

Japan

June 17-28, 2020

Lenses of Inquiry: Art, History, Culture

We begin our study tour in the elegant and vibrant city of Kyoto, which, until 1869, was Japan’s capital, and remains the cradle of much of the nation’s traditional culture. Kyoto contains 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as our first stop, Nijo-jo Castle. We continue our explorations in Tokyo and smaller cities such as Fukushima and Yamaguchi, discovering along the way Japanese art such as Yuzen dyeing and Manga and exploring the history and cultural traditions that have shaped modern-day Japan. Highlights include participating in a traditional tea ceremony with a tea master, creating our own Japanese-style prints, visiting Rokuon-ji and Ryoan-ji temples, bathing in a mountaintop natural hot spring, making our own Soba noodles and traveling via the famed Bullet train.

Approximate cost: $3,500 ($5,900 with airfare)

2020-2021 Study Tours

Spring

Argentina

Lenses of Inquiry: Community Engagement, Cultural Exchange, Geology

Dominican Republic

Lenses of Inquiry: Community Engagement, Cultural Exchange, Youth & Education

Baja California Sur, Mexico

Lenses of Inquiry: Culture, Community Engagement, Marine Conservation 

Morocco

Lenses of Inquiry: Religion, Cultural Exchange, Education & Youth

Iceland

Lenses of Inquiry: Energy, Natural Science, Culture & Economy

Ireland

Lenses of Inquiry: History, Immigration, Culture & Economy

Summer

Thailand

Lenses of Inquiry: Global Health, Cultural Exchange, Conservation

Kenya

Lenses of Inquiry: Global Health, Community Engagement, Conservation 

Hawaii

Lenses of Inquiry: Earth Science, Global Health, Environmental Sustainability

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