Global Travel

We are called International for a reason. Every year, our High School students get to “Experience the World” quite literally by participating in unforgettable trips and exchanges all over the globe.

Each destination has a specific theme and focus—athletic, linguistic, or scientific—but all have a cultural and service learning dimension. These unforgettable experiences, inextricably shared and deeply personal, are full of transformative learning moments that truly embody our school’s mission and values. They provide extraordinary opportunities to enhance our students' globally-focused education outside the classroom and enrich their linguistic proficiency.

The trips abroad take place during the academic year and last about two weeks each. The Exchange and Travel program is updated every year.

2017-2018 Destinations

Vietnam (Grade 9)

For their first trip with International, freshmen will explore the many remnants of the colonial era and Vietnam war, including the infamous Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi and Cu Chi tunnels in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). They will also enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Halong Bay and the elegance of Hoi An, make new friends while doing community service in remote villages, and learn the basics of Vietnamese cuisine!

Tahiti (Grades 9, 10)

Our longest standing exchange is now open to all—French and non-French speakers alike! Join us in Polynesia for two weeks of cultural immersion with host families. You'll sail and snorkel around some of the most majestic islands in the world, learn traditional dancing, and so much more. After, you'll have the opportunity to host your correspondent and share your life and city with your new friends from across the world.

China & Tibet (Grades 9, 10, 11)

This incredible trip will be a unique opportunity for all, Chinese speakers or not, to discover the ancient wonders of Beijing, experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Tibet, do service in a Panda conservation center, and get immersed in Chinese culture while staying with local families and interacting with high school students in Chengdu. To capture and enjoy every moment of this adventure, students will receive in-depth training in photography before and during the trip.

Denmark & Germany (Grades 9, 10, 11)

For the first time, Model United Nations club members will get to attend a conference abroad! This will be an opportunity for them to discover two European capitals and experience and reflect on the relative merits and limits of different political systems (capitalism, communism, social-democracy, totalitarianism) with a focus on the current treatment of the “other”—whether a homeless person, a refugee, or an immigrant.

American South (Grades 9, 10, 11)

Starting in Washington D.C., students will take a road trip across the deep South. The itinerary will include visits to Civil War sites and vestiges of native and colonial American times, but mainly focus on more recent history, retracing the road taken by the Freedom Riders and walking in the path of marchers from Selma. Far from a touristic experience, this unique trip co-organized with students will be a truly immersive one, with conversation with seniors who lived through the tumultuous 1960s, meetings with community and political figures and activists, as well as student peers.    

Senegal (Grades 9, 10, 11)

The trip to Senegal is a unique opportunity for students to visit a country rich in history and culture, as well as experience a personal connection to our school’s long-standing service initiative, Project Senegal. The adventure will begin with a tour of bustling Dakar, followed by a visit to the beautiful Ile de Goree. The following week will be spent volunteering at a public school and working at an agricultural cooperative in the seaside town of M'bour. Students will also visit and volunteer at a nearby orphanage, visit local markets, take a dance lesson on the beach, and have the opportunity to converse and make friends with Senegalese peers studying English at a local high school.

England (Grades 9, 10, 11)

The trip to England is designed for student-athletes and avid soccer fans! During their stay in the United Kingdom, participants will not only discover beautiful London, but also train daily with professional coaches, play games with local teams, visit a Premiere League stadium, and cheer on a Chelsea or Arsenal game. Students will also give back to the community, teaching soccer to underprivileged and/or handicapped youth.

Ecuador & Amazon (Grades 9, 10, 11)

In 2018, our Spanish linguistic trip is headed to Ecuador, where students will be staying in the quiet Northern city of Otavalo before exploring the Amazonian forest! Accompanied by two Spanish teachers, the trip will be 100% en español, with daily morning classes and afternoon practice to get the most out of this linguistic experience.

Galapagos (Grades 10, 11)

We're returning to the Galapagos! In line with the ecological theme of this trip, students will be staying in a biological reserve with a community of volunteers and local environment workers. The two weeks will be evenly divided between service (reforestation and work with sustainable farmers), education (hearing directly from conservation experts), and fun (tour of the island, animal-watching hikes, and snorkeling)! 

Thailand (Grades 10, 11)

This trip will allow students to develop a passion for human and animal medicine. During the first week, students will receive training and earn an advanced certificate in Wilderness First Aid, which they'll utilize when they visit local healthcare facilities and assist local doctors in their health outreach efforts. Students will also help children from local villages with their homework and join them for recess! During the second week, trip participants will stay at an elephant hospital, visit the world-renowned city of Chiang Mai, and likely develop a passion for Thai cooking! 

India (Grade 11)

The high school trip to India is one of our most celebrated traditions. This year, 11th graders will get to discover the many faces of this fascinating nation. Traveling between Delhi and Mumbai, students will visit the Taj Mahal, temples, churches, and mosques; and meet the Baul tribal people, Bollywood stuntmen, artists, and yogis. They'll also ride on the Hoogly River, explore an animal reserve, and interact with elephants in a shelter! Of course, students will also be giving back through community service for local youth.

Itinerary may be subject to change.

International High School

150 Oak Street

San Francisco, CA 94102-5912

Phone: 415.558.2000

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An independent Pre-K through 12th grade co-educational day school in the heart of San Francisco. The school delivers a rigorous bilingual (French/English) immersion program through middle school, culminating in either French Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate program in its International High School.

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