Middle and Upper School Girls Explore the World through International Fall Break Trips

Seventh, eighth, and ninth graders traveled to Costa Rica, and a group of tenth and eleventh graders journeyed to Italy over fall break, enjoying the opportunity through the Institute for Responsible Citizenship to give them a taste of global travel.
Middle and upper school students stepped out of their comfort zones and broadened their perspectives
as they experienced new people, places, and cultures on trips to Costa Rica and Italy over fall break. These
trips were organized by the Institute for Responsible Citizenship, which is planning to offer more global
travel opportunities in the future. The Institute’s goal is to help our girls grow and prepare for a world full of
international opportunities by giving them a taste of what it’s like to traverse the world.

“The best preparation we can give our girls to be independent, responsible citizens is to help them understand what it means to be part of a global community,” said Nick Simpson, director of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship. “The greatest way to understand humanity is to break bread and talk with other people.”

Seventh, eighth, and ninth graders had an amazing time in Costa Rica visiting Arenal, San Jose, Alajuela,
Tortugero, and the Tarcoles River. Students witnessed a baby sea turtle release, soared through the rainforest
on a zip line, made patacones and pico in a cooking class, and explored beautiful natural sites such as Manuel Antonio Park and the Poas Volcano. They also tried different local fruits and snacks and got to see monkeys, iguanas, turtles, sloths, a caiman, and even a gladiator beetle. Along the way, the girls used their Spanish skills to communicate and navigate. 

Here is what several students who went on the Costa Rica trip said about their experiences:
  • “Costa Rica has some of the biggest turtle nesting in the world, and it was great to see a group of people coming together to help an endangered species." — Abby Livingston ’28
  • “During the cooking class, I practiced my Spanish skills and vocabulary. What I didn’t understand, I was able to use context clues to pick up things based on what the instructor was doing.” — Maddie Kyle ’27
  • “It was cool to see the different ways people go about their daily lives in different parts of the world.” — Kate Scott Loftin ’27
A group of 10th and 11th graders explored historical sites and discussed the history of the Roman Empire and the impact of the Renaissance. In Rome, the girls took in famous landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon, and also took a day trip to Vatican City. In Florence, they visited Il Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Piazza della Signoria, and were able to witness the magnificent panoramic view of the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo. As they toured different art museums, they viewed renowned works of art that have inspired artistic innovation through the centuries. During their travels, they also admired the architecture, especially on a Tiber River Cruise.

Here are a few reflections from upper school students who traveled to Italy:
  • “It was incredible to realize that history took place in the very room or space we were standing in.”  — Millie Malone ’25
  • “I loved seeing what I’ve learned in Latin come to life. It was cool to see the Latin inscriptions everywhere and be able to translate them.” — Sarah Beth Cunningham ’26
  • “It was beneficial to go out of the classroom and be able to see these things firsthand. Because you can read whatever you want in the classroom, and you can be taught a lot of things, but when I experienced and saw them, I gained a deeper understanding.” — Brannon Chubb ’25

Read More