Summit: Reimagining Travel Programs
November 2-4, 2022 // Buitrago, Spain
As schools consider the many complexities of traveling today, join other educational leaders to share and learn from one another around what educational travel programming could and should look like at our schools. Building on our 2021 summit on this topic, this second iteration will be hosted again at Gredos San Diego (GSD) Buitrago Campus, and participants will have the opportunity to engage in expert and practitioner-led sessions, to vet Spanish-language and travel-program providers, to connect with existing and potential partner schools, and to participate in discussions and activities.
Topics likely to include research and model practices in program design and curriculum, student travel learning competencies and outcomes, emerging risks, collaborative travel models, partnership development, ethical considerations of travel, and vetting partners and scouting locations.
Global Directors; school leaders involved in partnerships and global program development; faculty travel program leaders
- Summit Registration: 375 USD for member schools, 425 USD for non member schools
- On-Campus Housing November 2-4: 100 USD per night
- Basque Experiential Program (optional): 950 USD includes housing and transportation
- Barcelona School Visit (optional): 150 USD includes transportation to and from Madrid
Deadline to register: October 14
Participants should plan to arrive at the Madrid Barajas Airport by 12 noon on Wednesday, 11.2. Participants arriving before November 2 will be able to board a GSD vehicle in central Madrid (pick up at Hotel Regina) to travel to Buitrago on November 2.
Included in the summit registration are accommodations in Buitrago on November 2 and 3. Participants who arrive early are recommended to stay at the Hotel Regina, where the bus to Buitrago will pick up participants on November 2.
For those attending the Basque program (and/or planning to attend the Barcelona visit on November 7), accommodations in Madrid on Sunday, November 6 are not included (recommended hotel is Hotel Regina). For those attending the Barcelona school visit, accommodations the evening of November 7 are not included, but transportation by train to and from Barcelona, departing and returning to Madrid, are.
Spain Travel Summit Detailed Schedule
Wednesday, 11.2 // Buitrago, Spain
- 9AM-3PM: Ongoing shuttles to Buitrago from airport and central Madrid (specific location TBD)
- 12-3PM: European Regional Meeting (Buitrago Campus)
- 1-3PM: American Regional Meeting (Buitrago Campus)
- 3-4.30PM: Spanish-Language Vendor Showcase and GSD Buitrago School Tour
- 5PM: Summit Opening Reception and Welcome from GSD Board
- 6PM: Dinner
Thursday, 11.3 // Buitrago, Spain
- 7-9AM: Breakfast
- 9AM-4.30PM: Breakout Presentations and Full-Group Sessions
- 5.30PM: Reception / Cocktail Class
- 8.00PM: Dinner in town (optional)
Friday, 11.4 // Buitrago, Spain
- 7-9AM: Breakfast
- 9-11AM: Facilitated Discussions on Program Management and Risk Management
- 11AM: Lunch (Optional)
- Return to Barajas Airport (MAD) by coach, arriving by 1PM
- Return to Madrid via public transportation
- Travel to Post-Summit Program in Basque Country (Optional)
Saturday, 11.5 // Basque Country, Spain (Optional)
Sunday, 11.6 // Basque Country and Madrid, Spain (Optional)
- Basque Country group returns to Madrid; Flight to Madrid, departing 9.20AM or 1.40PM
- Those participating in the Barcelona program need to make their own hotel arrangements for this evening. Recommended hotel is Hotel Regina.
Monday, 11.7 // Madrid and Barcelona, Spain (Optional)
- 7AM Train departing Puerta de Atocha Station (Madrid); arrival 9.30AM Barcelona Sants Station
9.30-10.15AM: Transportation to St. Paul’s School
10.15-10.45AM: Coffee and light breakfast
10.45-11.30AM: Opening Session
11.30AM-12.00PM: Tour of St. Paul’s
12.00-1.30PM: Lunch and Facilitated Networking
1.30-2.30PM: Meeting time for partnership development
2.30PM: Departure for Sants Station
3.23PM: Train departure for Madrid; 5.55PM arrival Madrid Atocha
Thursday, November 3
9-10AM // Full Group Panel: “Student Travel in a Post-Pandemic World”
To help begin the summit’s primary day of professional learning, we will explore the curricular, risk-management, and ethical implications that the COVID-19 Pandemic has had on the field of overnight student travel.
>>Daniel Emmerson, Director of Global Education, Felsted School, United Kingdom
>>Aric Visser, Head of Secondary, The British School of Navarra/Nafarroa, Spain
>>Marley Matlack, Director of Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies, Loomis Chaffee School, USA (sabbatical); Special Assistant to the Head, Atlas American School of Malaga, Spain
10:05-10:50AM // Two Breakout Sessions
>>Room 1: “Putting Biodiversity into Travel”
>>Room 2: “Footprints: One Model and Further Questions of Carbon Offset for School Travel Programs”
10:50-11:10AM // Coffee Break
11:15AM-12PM // Two Breakout Sessions
>>Room 1: “Global Fellows Program: Training Ethical Global Researchers at the High School Level”
>>Room 2: “Building Intercultural Learning Skills at Home and Abroad”
12-2PM // Lunch
2-2:45PM // Full Group Panel: “Global Program Development Journeys”
Hear from three school leaders about their journeys in developing a curricular global program that utilizes purposeful travel and meaningful partnerships to help students develop global competencies–including GSD’s experience developing their longstanding community partnership in Cameroon.
>>GSD International Schools, Cameroon
>>Jonathan Fouser, Founding Deputy Head of School, Brewster Academy in Madrid, Spain
>>Ruxandra Mercea, Executive Director, Transylvania College, Romania
2:55-3:40PM // Two Breakout Sessions
>>Room 1: “Responding to the Pandemic: Positive New Pathways, Partnerships and Possibilities”
>>Room 2: “The World is Our Classroom–Developing Global Citizens Through an Active Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice Framework”
3:45-4:30PM // Two Breakout Sessions
>>Room 1: “Preparing Students, Parents and Chaperones for a Successful Cultural Exchange”
4:30-5:00PM // Coffee Break
5:00-5:45PM // Two Breakout Sessions
>>Room 1: “BB&N’s Evolving Travel Programs: Fostering Cultural Change Through Competency-Based Curriculum and Cultural Humility”
>>Room 2: “The importance of collaboration and partnership in creating ethical travel programmes for the future”
Breakout Session Descriptions
BB&N’s Evolving Travel Programs: Fostering Cultural Change Through Competency-Based Curriculum and Cultural Humility
This presentation will detail BB&N’s shift toward a competency-based curriculum for more meaningful travel programs. Anchored in BB&N’s Global Competency Framework and adaptable to other Global Frameworks, this approach aims to change the culture of travel program design and implementation among trip leaders (and teachers in general) by prioritizing the exploration, appreciation, and understanding of the histories, environment, and peoples in the places trip leaders plan to visit with their students. I will share the specific approaches used to change our trip leader culture, and the planning templates that helped us move towards a more meaningful learning experience for students.
Presented by Karina J Baum, Director of Global Education, Buckingham Browne & Nichols (MA, USA)
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Building Intercultural Learning Skills at Home and Abroad
How do we at independent schools craft a program in which all of our students have access to experiences that develop intercultural learning skills? The Covid-19 pandemic shone a light on the fact that international travel is sometimes not an option. And there are students who will not or can not travel due to factors outside of pandemic-related restrictions. Furthermore, we know that cross-cultural contact can happen close to home, and we know that contact doesn’t lead automatically to intercultural learning skills development regardless of location. Preparation for cross-cultural contact and linguistic and cultural immersion is therefore paramount, whether students are engaged in a program close to home or abroad. Pulling the threads of intercultural learning through semester-long, year-long, or J-Term courses and programs deepens student ownership and agency.
Presented by Joyce Noelle Lang, Language Department Chair and J-Term Coordinator, Blair Academy (NJ, USA)
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Footprints: One Model and Further Questions of Carbon Offset for School Travel Programs
Students and faculty in the Environmental Club at Eastside Preparatory School led the effort over the last three years to develop and offer a Carbon Offset Program allowing families to opt-in with a donation to offset carbon footprints during our annual all-school experiential week. Attend this session to hear how students researched this project, calculated offsets for trips ranging from local destinations to extended overseas sites, selected a partner organization in Madagascar and promoted the opportunity to families and parents for our experiential week. Our partner organization in Madagascar also hosted a student trip to learn and help with reforestation efforts. We want to explore with colleagues how to further refine and expand this kind of effort for ethical student travel.
Presented by David A Kelly-Hedrick, Experiential Education Coordinator and English Faculty, and Paul Hagen, Director of Student Well-Being, Eastside Preparatory School (WA, USA)
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Global Fellows Program: Training Ethical Global Researchers at the High School Level
Our student communities have the power to seek truth to understand and solve local and global challenges. Both inside and outside of the classroom, on their own and collaboratively, our students have passionate ideas to improve our communities and shape the future. At National Cathedral School, the “Global Fellows” program supports students in grades 9-12 to conduct independent summer research + action around the world on a diverse array of topics, including international affairs, environmental sustainability, social justice, world languages, community service, visual arts, and more. Their projects develop core global competencies including understand the world, engage with empathy, collaborate across difference, and self-reflect through independence. A key component of the program is working as a cohort and participating in a short course on Fieldwork Research and Interview Methods. This session will share the NCS program model (materials, timeline, readings, administration) and student project examples, and create a forum for discussing how we support student research for impact through global programming.
Presented by Melody Fox Ahmed, Director of Global Programs, National Cathedral School (D.C., USA)
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Preparing Students, Parents and Chaperones for a Successful Cultural Exchange
The success of a cultural exchange often depends on the preparation of the participants, including students, parents and chaperones. In this short presentation, we will share specific ways that trip leaders can manage the expectations and behaviors of the participants and stakeholders. We will also discuss how to get ahead of common issues and pitfalls before they arise on exchanges. Finally, we will share our best practices which have helped us at Ursuline Academy of Dallas to maintain successful sister-school partnerships for decades.
Presented by Cecilia Nipp, Director of Global Relationships and Cultural Exchange, and Susan Bauer, Director of Research and Educational Innovation, Ursuline Academy of Dallas (TX, USA)
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Responding to the Pandemic: Positive New Pathways, Partnerships and Possibilities
The shutdown caused by the pandemic forced global educators to envision our craft through new lenses. Having to turn on a dime, we reinvented our programs while maintaining our core goals and values in the development of global citizens and scholars. In the end, we created new connections and possibilities that reached even more students. This session is a discussion of how one school did it using the existing networks, partnerships and the school community. Following the intro and discussion there will be time for Q&A and time to brainstorm in small groups. Now we need to decide what we keep and change. Travel is back but virtual is here to stay and its potential is still untapped. The question before us now is: How do we keep and develop these separate streams as well as combine them to enhance our returning travel experiences.
Presented by Heather Waters, Global Opportunities Coordinator, Scarsdale High School (NY, USA)
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“The World is Our Classroom”–Developing Global Citizens Through an Active Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Justice Framework
“The World is Our Classroom” is Gill St. Bernard’s School’s (GSB) motto. In alignment with this philosophy, each upper school student is required to participate in the GSB Spring Unit Global & Experiential Program that centers student learning around topics such as identity, social justice, inclusion, access, and leadership. For two weeks each spring, students choose a mini-course from a catalog of diverse curriculum that are mission-aligned, connected to core academic subjects, and developed by our faculty. These opportunities empower students to build understanding together through a framework of responsible global citizenship and intercultural understanding. While some courses require travel domestically, internationally, or virtually, the overarching program goal is to energize students to harness these experiences to make real change within our school community and in the world. This workshop will explore the design and impact of cultural engagement programs on a local, national, and international scale that effectively fosters global competencies for our students while, at the same time, expands the dimensions of where learning occurs and who is telling the story. It will also explore the challenges to supporting global travel programs through an equity lens.
Presented by Tracey Goodson Barrett—Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and GSB Spring Unit Coordinator—Gill St. Bernard’s School (NJ, USA)
School global administrators, leaders of travel programs to Spain, and teachers of Spanish should join this post-summit opportunity to travel to the Basque Country to learn about the region’s commitments to cultural and linguistic sustainability, and the complexities therein.
Spain and France are the two most popular destinations for students at GEBG schools participating in travel programs, yet these programs often focus on an oversimplified view of Spanish and French culture that misses the rich and complex diversity of these two nations.
Educators will have the opportunity to scout this region to develop more intentional learning opportunities in the future. They will bring back to their schools and students a more nuanced understanding of Spain’s linguistic and cultural diversity and resources for using the region as a platform for teaching intercultural competence in the classroom or in the field.
More details about the program:
Starting in the ancient Roman City of Pamplona/Iruña and making our way through the Basque countryside to San Sebastian/Donostia, participants will look at how culture can be deliberately constructed and preserved through day to day life, including the language we speak, the food we eat, and how that food is produced and shared. In our travels we will meet other educators and key players in this cultural preservation and challenge assumptions that we might have about our understanding of Spain and France. Participants will leave with greater opportunities for classroom curriculum connections, travel program ideas, and connections to other educators who want to give greater nuance to their teaching of language, civilization, and identity across departments and divisions.
Basque language and culture can be traced back to pre-Roman times, and over the course of thousands of years, this region in the north of Spain and south of France has retained a unique linguistic and cultural identity. Today, various dialects of Basque and various cultural traditions can be observed in the seven traditional provinces of the Basque Country, which includes the modern autonomous communities of Pais Vasco/Euskadi and Navarra/Nafarroa and three historical provinces north of the Pyrenees in France referred to by southern Basques as “Iparralde” or “the North.” Known around the world as a place in which identity has both sustained and evolved over time, all the while grappling with complex political, economic, and social considerations at local, national, and global levels, the Basque Country provides a unique opportunity to engage with issues of cultural sustainability and intercultural competence.
Tentative Schedule for Basque Country Experiential Program
12PM: Departure for Basque Country (from GSD Buitrago)
2PM: Town visit to explore traditions
3.30PM: Leave for Pamplona
6PM: Arrive Pamplona
7PM: Panel Discussion: Basque Language and Identity in Navarra
8-10PM: Pintxos and regional Navarran specialties
9AM: Depart for rural Basque interior
10.30AM: Visit to a working cheese farm for cheese making and tasting
12PM: Cooking workshop with locally produced Basque products
2PM: Guest speaker
5PM: Depart for Donostia
Community Meal and Discussion on Circular Economy and Basque Cultural preservation
12AM: Travel to hotel
Program Components Include:
Friday Panel Discussion on Intercultural Navarra: Basque, Spanish and English languages and culture in media and education
Join Navarran educators and journalists for a discussion of the roles of Basque, Spanish, English (and other) languages in Navarra and how the mix of cultures can create an opportunity for understanding and cooperation. Hosted at The British School of Navarra
Saturday Community Meal and Discussion on Circular Economy and Basque Cultural preservation
In this round table discussion and shared community meal, participants will be joined by public officials, farmers and hospitality representatives to talk about the goal of creating and sustaining a cultural identity based on environmentally and economically sustainable models.
950 USD, includes housing, transportation and meals
Reimagining Travel Programs
October 2021, Online
Travel can be one of the most effective and powerful ways to teach global competencies, yet even as travel restrictions are lifted and interest surges, many difficult questions remained:
- Should we travel with students? If we do, what will be different?
- How might we reimagine programs while still developing their clear student learning outcomes?
- What partnerships within your school could support new virtual, local, domestic, and international programming?
- How can we effectively manage diverse and potentially conflicting needs from various stakeholders, including parents?
- How might we reasonably manage risks associated with off-campus programming?
- Which planning strategies can help us to navigate uncertainty and evolving risks, in addition to our own stress?
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