Global Immersion Studies Program Student Blog 2018

Steamboat Mountain School offers an adventure travel program like no other high school does!

In order to prepare for the month-long trips in April, students meet with their faculty leaders starting in December. Each Tuesday, December through March, students meet with their Steamboat Mountain School trip leaders, who are current teachers at the school, and guest speakers to learn about: current events, religion, politics, global economics, cultural awareness, history, language, and social and environmental issues. In addition, they have two hour weekly meetings, when the leaders either expand upon the discussions from the Tuesday seminar, or they work with the students to strengthen the bond of the group. Savvy travel, safety concerns, medical and health information, risk mitigation, cultural awareness and sensitivities, and practical information will also be topics that are covered thoroughly so that the students are well educated and well prepared for their journey and so that they understand what it means to be a responsible traveler and a global citizen.

All of Steamboat Mountain School’s Global adventure trips are guided by sound practical and academic information, and principles of responsible travel. Steamboat Mountain School travel groups support local economies whenever possible and seek out meaningful interactions with the people they visit. All trips include home stays, during which students are immersed with families and the culture that surrounds them. Students live, eat, and work with local families. Additionally, groups engage in community service, typically working side by side with community members on a project that supports the local community. Groups have helped harvest crops, build schools, clean water systems, build toilets, and create pathways. Painting, planting, and teaching English are also popular sources of service contributions. We value experiences that give us an opportunity to work and play with the people we are visiting. These opportunities enhance our understanding and change our perspective on the boundaries of the world.

Students are not graded for their involvement in the travel program, rather, they become engaged thinkers and doers who learn about life, living, and giving. Once on the trip, faculty and student groups travel humbly and do so in order to align themselves with the people of the country they are visiting. As we travel with the students, we strive to minimize negative impacts on local communities, resources, and the natural environment. We do not travel like tourists – we experience first-hand how people from different countries live. We learn from and with the people of the country we visit. For this reason, the 4-week journey becomes a significant learning experience. Perspective is gained. Learning is expanded. The discovery of responsibility to self, others, and the world around us becomes deeply planted in the minds and hearts of our students. Questions are answered, yet newfound inquiry is created