Global Studies


For Upper School trips, please visit the Upper School Global Studies page.

Riverdale Country School offers its Middle and Upper School students numerous opportunities to travel abroad and learn about a country’s history, culture, language, and contemporary society. Students form new friendships through exchanges with schools, homestays with families, and field work with local community groups. Through these relationships, students develop a personal connection to other countries and a broader worldview. Examples of our trips include:

  • Ongoing exchange visits with France, Spain, and China organized by our foreign language department. Students stay with families during the trip, and then reciprocate when those schools send students to Riverdale. These experiences develop students’ language proficiency and give them insight into the contemporary culture in those countries. 

  • Service-learning trips to learn about regional issues. In 2015, students went to New Zealand to learn how community organizers have helped Christchurch recover after two devastating earthquakes. A biennial trip to Peru combines service-learning among indigenous people with Spanish language development and outdoor experiences in the Amazon River basin and the Andes.

  • Some trips coincide with specific coursework or activities. Latin students go to Rome on a biennial trip that deepens their knowledge of the Classical World. The Jazz Ensemble went to Australia in 2014 and toured England in 2016. A theater group went to Scotland in 2014 for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

  • For the third year, our growing Outdoor Leadership Program is taking a group of students on a backcountry, backpacking expedition through Patagonia National Park in the largely undeveloped Aysen region of Patagonian Chile.

We are always looking for new travel opportunities for students, ways to connect our trips to further learning in the classroom, and new areas for our students to explore.

Middle School Global Studies Trips for 2018

Middle School Spanish Exchange, March 2018

Middle School Spanish Exchange—March 2018

Trip Leaders: Milena Almira, Tiffani Lynch

Dates of Travel: March 15March 25, 2018

Cost of Trip: $2,400. Includes airfare, all ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: Please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella ( Trip cost will be billed directly from the Finance Office.

Visa: Not required for US passport holders.

Vaccinations: It is advisable for all travelers to update their routine vaccinations. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your annual flu shot.

Application: All applications are due on Monday, November 20, 2017. Please download and complete the application form, and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF’s office.

This exchange enables students to enhance their communication skills and use language resourcefully in real life situations as they deepen cultural understanding and develop life-long friendships. Students are paired with English-language learners at the Lourdes School in Valladolid, Spain and remain in a homestay for the duration of their stay. Students will also have the opportunity to take dance classes and cooking lessons as they build their language skills and learn about the rich traditions of this region.

Valladolid is a quaint and very accessible city in the heart of Castilla y León whose history dates back to pre-Roman times. As the seat of the Court of Castile during the Middle Ages and the capital of Spain under Ferdinand and Isabel, this city leaves a rich and varied history to explore. It is also the place where Christopher Columbus died and were some of Spain’s most renowned Golden Age writers such as Quevedo and Cervantes lived and worked. We will not only be able to examine first-hand Valladolid’s important role in the history and culture of Spain but also that of other renowned cities such as Salamanca and Segovia. Students will end their trip with a visit to Madrid, Spain’s cultural, political and economic capital. While all Middle School students are encouraged to apply, priority will be given to those students who hosted last Spring and Spanish language learners.

Please contact Susan Polise ( or Antoinette Quarshie ( if you have any questions.

Spring 2018

Spanish Exchange (Middle School): 
     March 1525

South Africa & Namibia
  (Upper School)
     March 1430

St. Petersburg, Russia
  (Upper School)
     March 1624

Latin Trip to Rome (Upper School):
     March 1825

Outdoor Expedition to Bears Ears National Monument, Utah
  (Upper School)
     March 1623

Summer 2018

Astrophysics in Colorado Rockies
  (Upper School):
     June 12–July 13

Summer Science Research and Outdoor Leadership Expedition: Ecology and Exploration in the Alaskan Arctic
  (Upper School):
     June 21 to July 7

Ecuador and the Galapagos
  (Upper School):
     June 14–June 27 

Riverdale in China: Silk Road
  (Upper School):
     June 15–July 1

Riverdale Country School

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1 Spaulding Lane
Bronx, NY 10471
LS: (718) 549-7780

Middle/Upper School
5250 Fieldston Road
Bronx, NY 10471
MS/US: (718) 549-8810

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