College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Holton Abroad

Junior Journeys take eleventh graders away from campus where they explore issues related to the environment, poverty, women's equality, universal education, and other United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Each trip maintains a blog while traveling, read about their experiences below.

Trips planned for 2017:

Belize | China | France | India | Italy | Maine | New Orleans | Peru | Spain

Read about where the girls have traveled:


Global Focus: Cultural and Environmental Awareness

Holton middle school students in Belize

There are few countries that have been as hard hit by modernity and climate change as Belize. Changes in temperature and rainfall patterns are altering Belize's watersheds and affecting the rainforest ecosystems. Scientists say that certain animal species, such as lizards and frogs, are dying off; these deaths may be an indication of larger problems to come. Belize's world-famous barrier reefs starkly illustrate the effects of a changing climate. Over the last 15 years, nearly half of these once vibrant reefs have withered into skeletons of white, lifeless rock. This phenomenon, known as "bleaching" is caused by rising ocean temperatures, increased exposure to sunlight and a greater frequency of violent storms—all of which are symptoms of climate change. Belize is a living laboratory where Holton and Landon Middle Schoolers can study climate change up close with their teachers. The biggest barrier to mitigating the effects of climate change in Belize is poverty. More than one-third of Belize's population lives beneath the poverty line. Belizean farmers many times are reduced to slash and burn agricultural practices to feed their families. With increased and improved education, Belizean youth must find new and innovative ways to reverse the effects of climate change.


Lillian B. '20 speaks about the opportunity traveling abroad gave her to stretch herself and learn outside of her comfort zone, click the arrow below to listen.


Global Focus: Universal Education

With a growing, diverse population that already surpasses 1.3 billion people, China has experienced dizzying economic growth, emergence of a middle class, and a rapid rise to power on the world stage. However, in the last decade, development on an unprecedented scale and massive urbanization have resulted in overcrowded cities, mass migration issues, unequal distribution of wealth, and the need for quality education for all. Similar to the United States, China faces the ultimate test of educating young people for the vocational, technical, and academic careers that will continue to drive and sustain national security and economic growth. Holton students will explore the successes, challenges, and goals of the Chinese education system. Through round table discussion with peers, students will exchange perspective on the relationship between knowledge acquisition and creative application. Our journey will include visits to a variety schools, institutions, and non-profit organizations in urban and rural areas dedicated to educating a diverse Chinese population.


Costa Rica

Global Focus: Biodiversity and Loss

No country in Latin America has been more successful than Costa Rica in creating long-standing economic and political stability. Costa Rica has aggressively protected its natural resources and, in the process, become a world model for the benefits of sustainable tourism. Despite political and economic progress, Costa Rica’s biodiversity is under threat from the same economic pressures that have ravaged much of Central America. Costa Rica’s amazing biodiversity and the established infrastructure for its study makes it ideally suited for this trip’s overarching theme: Biodiversity and Loss. Through non-profits, community interactions, service-learning projects, field research, and cultural immersion, students will come to understand, on the ground, how the destruction of Costa Rica’s ecosystems is causing certain flagship species to become endangered, drawing parallels to the situations of species in the United States and other parts of the world.



Greece, often dubbed “the Cradle of Western Civilization,” offers students and scholars a chance to walk in the footsteps of classical visionaries and among the buildings that served as the foundations of our modern society. Greece’s art and archaeological remains range from the mathematically impeccable Parthenon to the victory grounds at Olympia, and from the seat of the god Apollo’s Oracle at Delphi to the Christian monasteries at Osios Loukas. These sites have been the source of artistic inspiration worldwide, and have attracted countless intellectual travelers and religious pilgrims alike for centuries. Greece’s archaeological record exposes the dramatic shifts in Greek history, from the establishment of Christianity in the Byzantine period to Islamic rule of the Ottoman Empire and even Axis occupation in WWII. These events greatly affected what remains from Greece’s past, and why. Since enacting the Antiquities Law of 1834, the first law worldwide that marked the importance of preserving cultural heritage, Greece has played a central role in the increasingly significant topics of archaeological ethics, cultural heritage, and national identity. Using the monuments and museums as our on-site classroom, AP Art History students will explore individual research topics, grapple with questions of the past’s relation to the present, and gain appreciation for the lasting effects of human achievements.



Global Focus: Tradition and Modernity

India is an ideal location to observe the effects of globalization. The history and culture of India offer a fascinating look at the role of tradition and its steadfastness in this country of over a billion people. At the same time, India has experienced tremendous economic growth, leading to dramatic social change. All indicators point to sustained growth in the future making India a rising force in an increasingly “flat world.” Despite these impressive economic gains, India still presents extraordinary contrasts and disparities, including in health, wealth, education, and gender roles. India truly is in a period of transition. While in India, students will experience and grapple with the complex issues of development that are evident throughout the country in both the city and in rural areas where 70% of Indians still reside.



Peru’s economy has grown significantly over the last decade making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Governmental stability and increased foreign trade and investment have played a crucial role in re-establishing Peru’s presence on the global stage. Empowerment through education, training, and access to micro-financing has enabled women to contribute significantly to the economic story both at a local and national level. Governmental and non-governmental entities fully realize the importance of investing in women. Sustainability is achieved when the social, economic and environmental needs of a community overlap. Women are the foundation of their community. What they learn directly benefits their community and enables sustainable growth. Holton students will explore the ways Peru is engaging women in the promotion and protection of its cultural patrimony.



Global Focus: Linguistic and Cultural Immersion

In 2011, Holton-Arms’ World Language Department, in partnership with CreaEvents Director Antonio Carrera and El Centro Español de Nuevas Profesiones in Madrid, Spain, established a 16-day homestay language immersion program to give our Spanish language students in the 9th and 10th grades the opportunity to live and learn in Spanish. As multi-language learners ourselves, we recognize and appreciate the motivational and academic advances that come from experiential language learning. During our stay in Madrid, Holton students live with host families, attend intensive language classes daily, and participate in guided visits in and around Madrid. Holton Spanish language instructors accompany the students each year with the goal of converting the exciting city of Madrid into a compelling classroom in which to improve their Spanish proficiency.



The Republic of Rwanda is a small, landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east central Africa. Known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” Rwanda is home to approximately 10 million people, and the most densely populated country in Africa. Rwanda received international attention in 1994 when almost one million people were killed during a devastating 100-day period. The Rwandan genocide, a crime steeped in ethnic rivalry that dates back to the colonial period, left the people abandoned by the international community and in dire need of a path towards recovery and reconciliation. Since 1994, Rwanda has charted recovery on its own terms through the use of gacaca courts, national trials, and UN tribunals. Although Rwandans seem to accept that no legal process can adequately restore justice to the country, the government has been able to seemingly focus the populace on unity and prosperity as a way forward.

Through non-profits, community interactions, service-learning projects, and cultural immersion, Holton students will come to understand how Rwanda is reconciling the past while beating the odds stacked against it. They will witness why Rwanda is emerging as a model for other African nations. In the last ten years, healthcare has dramatically improved, achieving a drop of 30% in maternal mortality rates, legal systems have been reformed to allow women to inherit land, and free universal education has expanded from six to nine years. Much of this progress is due to women’s leadership. The number of women holding elective office in Rwanda exceeds the global average of 14%. Rwandan women are currently holding 50% of parliamentary seats. Holton students will have the opportunity to work with women at the local and national levels, not to mention their peers at a secondary school. This journey focused on emerging female leadership and the national emphasis on unity and prosperity in Rwanda, a country emerging as a model for other African nations to follow.


Global Focus: Language Proficiency and Cultural Competence

The Holton-Arms’ World Language Department, in partnership with the Centre International d'Études Françaises (C.I.D.E.F) in Angers, France, will initiate a 16-day homestay/language immersion program to give our French language students in the 9th and 10th grades the opportunity to live and learn in French. During our stay in Angers, Holton students live with host families, attend two hours of intensive language classes daily, and participate in guided visits in and around the Loire Valley. Holton French language instructors accompany the students each year with the goal of converting the quaint town of Angers into a compelling classroom in which to improve their French proficiency.

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