Global Studies

 

For Middle School trips, please visit the Middle School Global Studies page. For outdoor experiences, please go to the Outdoor Programs 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 2017, 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.

  • Course-related trips connected to specific activities. Latin students go to Rome on a biennial trip that deepens their knowledge of the Classical World. The Jazz Ensemble has been to Australia in 2014 and England in 2016. Theater students have traveled to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. 

  • 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.


Upper School Global Studies Trips for 2018

Upper School Spanish Exchange: Valladolid, Spain - March 2019

Upper School Spanish Exchange: Valladolid, Spain—March 2019

Dates of Travel: March 13–March 23, 2019

Cost of Trip: $2,400. Includes airfare, ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella (shicks@riverdale.edu). 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: The deadline for applications is Monday, October 29, 2018. Please complete the application form and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF's office.

Trip Description: 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 Instituto Delicias 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 Upper School students are encouraged to apply, priority will be given to Spanish language learners and those students who hosted last Spring.

Upper School China Exchange: Shanghai, Suzhou (Homestay), Beijing - March 2019

Upper School China Exchange: Shanghai, Suzhou (Homestay), BeijingMarch 2019

Dates of Travel: March 13–March 27, 2019

Cost of Trip: $4,500. Includes airfare, all ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella (shicks@riverdale.edu). Trip cost will be billed directly from the Finance Office.

Visa: Required. Riverdale will make the arrangements for student visas.

Required 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. In addition, Hepatitis A vaccine and Typhoid vaccines are strongly recommended.

Application: The deadline for applications is Monday, October 29, 2018. Please complete the application form and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF's office.

Trip Description: The China exchange is a language and cultural immersion program for Chinese language students at Riverdale. This exchange program offers students opportunities to apply their Chinese language skills in real life, improve their Chinese proficiency, communicate across cultures, collaborate and find common ground with Chinese students, develop long-lasting friendships with peers in China, and experience the many dynamic facets of modern Chinese society.

Our exchange partner in Suzhou, the Suzhou No. 6 School, also known as the Suzhou Senior High Art School, nurtures a collegial, talented, and open-minded student body that is a fantastic match for Riverdale students. Riverdale students will participate in school life with their Suzhou buddies and stay in homestays with their families (for 5 nights/6 days). In addition to Suzhou, this exchange program features Shanghai and Beijing as its two other destination cities. As China’s economic and financial center, Shanghai is an alluring metropolis for students interested in modern Chinese economy and international business. As China’s capital, political and cultural center, Beijing presents ample opportunities for students to explore both traditional and contemporary China, such as the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Tsinghua University, 798 Arts District, Summer Palace, etc.

All Chinese language students in grades 9 through 12 are encouraged to apply. Participating students and their families will need to do the reciprocal hosting (for five nights/six days) of Suzhou students in the future.

Unearthing the Past: Integration of Land, Sustainability, and Society on an Irish Archaeological Expedition - March 2019

Unearthing the Past: Integration of Land, Sustainability, and Society on an Irish Archaeological Expedition—March 2019

Dates of Travel: March 13–March 30, 2019

Cost of Trip: $3,500. Includes airfare, ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella (shicks@riverdale.edu). 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: The deadline for applications is Monday, October 29, 2018. Please complete the application form and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF's office.

Trip Description: This trip introduces students to the concept of community archaeology as they work on an authentic dig site within the Irish National Heritage Park, which is hailed as “the cornerstone of ‘Ireland’s Ancient East.’” This outdoor museum depicts 9,000 years of re-created Irish history allowing students to journey through time to unearth the past and understand the stories that shaped Ireland. Students will interact with local communities through homestays with farm families and local school visits. Students will develop educational materials for younger groups to foster an appreciation and understanding of architecture as they promote an awareness of the integration of land, sustainability and society.

All interested students in grades 8 through 12 are encouraged to apply.

Upper School Music Trip to Australia - March 2019

Upper School Music Trip to Australia—March 2019

Dates of Travel: March 13–March 27, 2019

Cost of Trip: $5,000. Includes airfare, ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella (shicks@riverdale.edu). 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: The deadline for applications is Monday, October 29, 2018. Please complete the application form and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF's office.

Trip Description Every few years, students in the Upper School Music Program have the opportunity to participate in a musical and cultural exchange with Geelong Grammar School near Melbourne, Australia and the Hale School in Perth, Australia.  Students visit Australia during a 15-day trip over Spring Break to Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and then host visitors from the Hale School the following winter for a week. Both in Australia and in New York, students stay with host families, attend classes with their host brothers and sisters and participate in group cultural, educational and social activities in an effort to get to know one another as well as become familiar with their respective cities, cultures and musical styles and traditions. Some highlights of the trip include: a recording session at a state-of-the-art recording studio, participation in various music concerts and workshops with Australian peers on both coasts of Australia and visits to the Australian Outback and the world renowned Sydney Opera House. Students will also be exploring Australia through various critical lenses including sustainability, ecology and colonialism.

Upper School in Peru - June 2019

Upper School in Peru—June 2019

Dates of Travel: June 13–June 27, 2019

Cost of Trip: $5,000. Includes airfare, ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella (shicks@riverdale.edu). Trip cost will be billed directly from the Finance Office.

Visa: For US citizens, visas are free and issued at the port of entry.

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. In addition, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever and Typhoid vaccines are strongly recommended.

Application: The deadline for applications is Monday, January 28, 2019. Please complete the application form and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF's office.

Trip Description After successful trips to Peru in 2013, 2015 and 2017, we are thrilled to be returning to Peru this June on a 14 day faculty-lead full immersion experience for US students. Peru is the ancient seat of the Inca Empire, the largest civilization South America has ever known. While it boasts of magnificent and diverse landscapes and cultures, it is also a country permeated by deeply challenging socio-economic disparities. By immersing themselves into the daily lives of the Peruvian people, Riverdale students will learn about the complex cultures, history and biodiversity of Peru. They will also have the opportunity to engage in stimulating hands-on volunteer projects, live among indigenous communities and explore critical development issues. Some topics we will explore include resource management, health care, the rights of women and children, and how community leaders and aid organizations both positively and negatively impact the region. During the trip, students will visit Ollantaytambo, Cusco (the ancient Incan capital and the continent’s oldest inhabited city), the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. They will have homestay experiences with the Paru Paru (in the Potato Park in the Sacred Valley) and Aymara (on the islands of Lake Titicaca) communities.

Peru also houses more than 25,000 plant species (10% of the world total) and is one of the leading countries in fish, bird, mammal, amphibian, and reptile species. Researchers worldwide are striving to find strategies to protect and restore this biodiversity in order to preserve these ecosystems. During their travels, students will be experiencing first-hand this biodiversity. While the majority of our scientific experience will consist of discussions with local scientists, hikes, and work on the land, students will also read and discuss a handful of recent research articles on such issues as methods to protect the agro-biodiversity of Peru's potato crops, new methods for detecting and mapping carbon stores in forests across the country, unintended pollution from mines, and the role of trees rooted in the mountains, which are recognized to regulate weather patterns (yes, this is true!). The scientific aspect of this trip will also focus on more immediate issues such as mechanisms of parasites; spread of infectious disease; how local, shaman- mediated medicine differs from western medicine; and the incredibly interesting role of the coca leaf in the lives of Peruvians and ourselves. By the end of our voyage, students should have gained an enhanced appreciation of the lives of individual Peruvians, the role this South American country plays in the maintenance of this planet's climate and well-being, and why its protection should be a world-wide directive.

Due to the nature of the trip, eligible students should have completed Spanish II or higher by June 2019.

Upper School Japan Exchange Trip - June 2019

Upper School Japan Exchange—June 2019

Dates of Travel: June 13–June 27, 2019

Cost of Trip: $5,000. Includes airfare, ground transportation, sightseeing (entrance fees and guides), lodging, breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Financial aid is available: please contact Sheila Hicks-Rotella (shicks@riverdale.edu). Trip cost will be billed directly from the Finance Office.

Visa: US, Canadian, and Mexican citizens are not required to have a visa for a short-term visit to Japan. Citizens of other countries should check with the nearest Japanese consulate.

Required 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: The deadline for applications is Monday, January 28, 2019. Please complete the application form and submit to Ms. Martinez in KNF's office.

Trip Description The Japan trip is a language and cultural immersion program for Japanese language students as well as other interested Upper School students at Riverdale Country School. This exchange program offers students opportunities to apply their Japanese language skills in real life situations, improve their Japanese proficiency, communicate across cultures, collaborate and find common ground with Japanese students, develop long-lasting friendships with peers in Japan, and experience the many dynamic facets of modern Japanese society. Homestay locations will be arranged from as far north as Hokkaido to as far south as Okinawa. More details on this portion of the experience will follow in the early Spring of 2019. During the homestay portion of the program, students will stay with a Japanese family and attend a Japanese school. They also will participate in daily family activities, sit in on classes, and participate in uniquely-Japanese cultural activities like tea ceremony, kendo, or ikebana. Students will also be exploring Japan through various critical lenses including the ecological, social, cultural and political challenges of globalization in modern-day Japan (the impact of earthquakes, the fraught US- Japan relationship, the impact of Western standards of beauty on Japanese culture, the subjugation and forced assimilation of the Ainu people) as well as the legacy of a nuclear age.

All interested Japanese language students in grades 9 through 11 are encouraged to apply, as are Upper School students who have a keen interest in Japanese culture and lifestyle.

Spring 2019

Spanish Exchange: Valladolid
 (Upper School)
     March 13–March 23

China Exchange: Shanghai,
 Suzhou, Beijing (Upper School)
     March 13–March 23

Music Trip to Australia
 (Upper School)
     March 13–March 27

Unearthing the Past:
 Archaeology in Ireland
  (Middle & Upper School)
     March 13–March 30

Montréal, Québec: Immigration, Diversité, et Inclusion
 (Middle School)
     March 13–March 23

Summer 2019

Upper School in Peru
     June 13–June 27

Japan Exchange (Upper School)
     June 13–June 27

Hawaii/New Zealand Exchange
 (Middle School)
     June 09–June 21

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