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Packer Students in at the Hippo Hostel in Port Elizabeth South Africa

Travel Programs

Our Spring Break travel programs provide expanded opportunities for Middle and Upper School students to deepen their global understanding through first-hand experience. 

Packer’s global travel programs are designed to develop students’ empathy, global literacy, and leadership skills. These are not sightseeing trips, but opportunities for students to build lasting connections with other communities, schools, and organizations around the world. Project-oriented and cross-cultural, our programs expose students to new contexts, often across languages, fostering their global competencies as well as their understanding of themselves. 

In all of our travel programs, we allocate daily time for the students to reflect on their experiences and process new ideas, often leading to new and deeper peer-to-peer connections. By engaging together, students grow both individually and as a group. Our travel programs do not conclude when students return to New York: they expand through post-travel workshops and events designed for students to share their broadened perspectives with the rest of our community.

Upper School Travel Programs 2018-19

To assist in your planning, please note the travel programs we anticipate offering 2019-20 and 2020-21, below.

To read about the 10th Grade International Symposium programs in Greece and Peru, please visit Global Learning.

Global Partnerships

These travel programs are long term and ongoing relationships with community partners in different parts of the world. They represent an institutional commitment to maintaining a reciprocal relationship with community partners.

Packer/ArtWorks for Youth Global Partnership Program in South Africa

This will be the twelfth journey in a partnership between Packer and the ArtWorks for Youth program in Port Elizabeth. Student participants co-lead (along with adults and fellow students) a sports or arts-based activity that they develop prior to departure. Students learn about South African culture by meeting with local artists,  exploring public art in downtown Port Elizabeth, visiting wildlife preserves, learning about the lasting impact of apartheid rule, Students will also be partnered with a South African peer and together they will participate in a number of one-on-one activities – including a story exchange, that allow them to forge a strong, enduring connection focused on promoting a mutual sense of understanding. 

Packer/PEPY Global Partnership: Digital Storytelling in Cambodia

Now in its third year, The Digital Storytelling: Cambodia program connects students on a “people to people” exploration of the country’s history and emerging cultural renaissance. Students and teachers explore the history of Cambodia at the local, regional, and global levels and engage with local artists, scholars and humanitarians to bring the diverse realities of Cambodia to life. In Siem Reap, Packer students collaborate with Cambodian students from the Promoting Education, emPowering Youth (PEPY) organization to create a two-way digital narrative of personal discovery and have the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Angkor Wat. They also travel to Phnom Penh, where students experience the bustling capital and engage with Cambodian Living Arts, founded by Khmer Rouge genocide survivor Arn Chorn Pond. The experience concludes with an exchange between young musicians and dancers from Packer and Cambodian Living Arts. Ultimately, students understand the resiliency of the human spirit, celebrating Cambodia’s transition from horror to healing. 

Culture, Language and Arts Exploration

These programs enable students to explore their interests in topics and themes related to language, culture and the arts, using their talents and skills to engage and connect across cultures. These travel programs may be connected to curricular, co-curricular, or interdisciplinary subjects or topics

Bringing Cuba to Life: Exploring History, Culture and Language

Students will immerse themselves in the history, culture, and language of Cuba. Our goal is to make meaningful connections with different rural and urban communities by living with Cuban families, speaking the native language, contributing to social-cultural projects, and learning from our diverse practices and perspectives. The itinerary focuses on people, places, and themes which facilitate a deeper level of understanding and empathy for all participants. Activities include visiting the National School of Arts for a cultural exchange with students and professors; participating with residents in their regular agricultural activities in Las Terrazas eco-community; learning about Afro-Cuban religion, art and dance in the neighborhood Callejón de Hamel; and interacting with local artists, among many others.

Engaging with Our Past, Connecting with Our Present in Italy

The way that we engage with the past can help us build our understanding, nurture our sense of empathy, and connect with the various peoples and cultures of our own time. Packer’s program in Italy encourages an in-depth engagement with ancient Rome as a means of grappling with the issues and questions facing our modern-day world. Through pre-departure leadership training and preparation, students take responsibility for linguistic, historical, and cultural examinations of the classical cosmopolitan hubs of Rome and Pompeii. In addition to visiting various archeological sites in Rome and the Bay of Naples, students have the opportunity to foster their global competencies by making connections with the Italian communities preserving these ancient sites and experts who can offer insight into the issues facing Italians today. Ultimately, through the lens of the past, students will deepen their global literacy and cross-cultural awareness as they consider the power-dynamics of both ancient and modern civilizations.

Sustainable Futures

These programs engage students in deepening their learning and connection to the natural world and environmental studies, building on themes of outdoor education and education for sustainability. See the Proposed Programs for 2019-20 below.

Proposed Programs for 2019-20

Big Apple to the Big Easy: New Orleans

This is a unique opportunity for Packer’s Jazz Band to learn about the origins of Jazz first hand through learning from and collaborating with musicians in New Orleans and all along their bus ride through the South.

Cultural Engagement in China 

This program will enable students to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture through homestays and exchange with Chinese youth in Suzhou and Shanghai. Priority will be given to students taking Chinese Language or Chinese History courses.

Sustainable Futures with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)

This outdoor experience will enable students to learn more about the NOLS methodology and explore an important ecological question. Location to be determined.

Packer/Artworks for Youth Global Partnership Program in South Africa

Students will work collaboratively with their Packer peers to design and implement arts based programming with youth at the Artworks for Youth program in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  

Proposed Programs for 2020-21

Packer/Artworks for Youth Global Partnership Program in South Africa

Students will work collaboratively with their Packer peers to design and implement arts based programming with youth at the Artworks for Youth program in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  

Engaging with Our Past, Connecting with Our Present in Italy

Packer’s Program in Italy encourages this in-depth engagement with the ancient Rome as a means of grappling with the issues and questions facing our modern-day world. 

Middle School Travel Programs

Middle School students have opportunities to engage more deeply in their study of languages and cultures through the World Language travel programs. Each spring break, Middle School students who are studying French can visit Montréal and Québec City, while Spanish-language learners can travel to Puerto Rico. They have opportunities to connect with people from different cultures, experience the cultures and countries that they study in class, and step outside of their comfort zones. These encounters serve to activate their passion for their language of study and prepare them for a more rigorous form of study in Upper School.

Faculty Travel Programs

Packer is a partner of the Ndonyo Wasin Primary School in the Samburu region of Kenya. Every summer, as a part of an in-house professional development program on building global competence as an educator, several Packer teachers travel to Ndonyo Wasin to collaborate with the school's faculty and facilitate exchange between Packer students and NWPS students. Please see the description for this global partnership program in Global Learning

Tené Howard
Director of Global Programs and Community Engagement

Our global programs very deliberately put our students at the center of their own learning and expand what it means to be a citizen of our world.

Read More about Tené Howard

Did You Know?

World Leadership School in Peru

In our signature International Symposium program, every 10th Grade student travels abroad to Greece or Peru at no additional cost. 

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