Academic Travel 2023

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We are thrilled to be bringing back Academic Travel in Summer 2023 to offer a variety of learning experiences for Middle and Upper School students. Waterford’s Academic Travel offers an exciting array of opportunities to learn in the context of diverse cultures and historically significant places. Information about these trips is given below. Please note the following important items:

  • Grade levels are the grade in which your child is currently enrolled for the 2022-23 school year.
  • To enroll, fill out the relevant application form linked below. A separate application is required for each course.
  • Completing the application form represents a firm commitment to participate in that course. Before applying, please check your summer schedule for conflicts.
  • Tuition for Academic Travel trips will be billed in two parts: 1) A deposit (50% of total cost) in December. 2) The balance in January for Spring trips and March for Summer trips. Please see the schedule at the bottom of this page. Note that tuition is given as a range of costs, and is dependent on the number of participants, airfare costs, exchange rates, etc. Once tuition is firmly established, the information will be promptly conveyed to participating families.
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to kenthercules@waterfordschool.org

Guatemala – Service

  • Trip Leaders: Ryan Judd, Amy Dolbin, Katherine Stokes
  • Cost: $3,600 – $4,000
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in January.
  • Dates: February 23 – March 4, 2023
  • Current Classes: IX-XII
  • Group size: 10-20 students
  • Description: Spend a fantastic week and a half working with children at the Meso-America School of Pazticía, Guatemala, in the mountainous country outside of the capital. Teach English and help organize a party at the school. Do manual service in the town, helping in housing construction projects, delivering kits to needy families, visiting the hospital, and playing sports with the locals. These service projects will require some advance preparation and fundraising before we depart. There will also be chances to visit some ancient ruins, take hikes, visit a volcano, and do some shopping in local markets.  

    Students who speak Spanish and who have been previously involved in Community Service will be prioritized, BUT non-Spanish speakers and those who have not yet been involved in Community Service outreach at Waterford will be welcome!

India – Service

  • Trip Leaders: Ken Wade and Erika Munson
  • Cost: $4,200- $5,000
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in January.
  • Dates: February 23 – March 6, 2023
  • Current Classes: IX – XII
  • Group size: 10-20 students
  • Description: We are excited to continue Waterford’s connection with Kolkata, India. After exploring the city on our first day, we will visit the Hope Home orphanage, working with the girls and the staff there to support the orphanage in whatever way they ask, including yard work, painting, lessons and games with the girls, field trips, etc. Then we will spend three days serving at the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity homes in downtown Kolkata. We will join volunteers from all over the world to serve these children by playing with them, singing songs, helping with lunch, doing laundry, or whatever else the sisters in charge ask us to help with. We will return exhausted each day but may catch a glimpse of the significance of Mother Teresa’s saying, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

    In the evenings, after serving in the Hope Home and Mother Teresa homes, we will have opportunities to explore parks, museums, and temples in and around Kolkata.

    We will finish our visit with a two-day excursion to the Sundarbans National Park on the Ganges River delta. This is a mangrove forest teeming with wildlife, including the largest population of Bengal Tigers in the world.

    Applicants must be mature and willing to experience new and challenging situations far from home. Trip members must also commit to 3-4 Saturday meetings in Jan/Feb to prepare for the trip and will need to obtain required vaccinations for travel to India.

Greece: Theater, Philosophy, and Culture

  • Trip Leaders: Javen Tanner and Skyler Anderson
  • Cost: $6,700 – $8,200
    50% non-refundable deposit due in January and the balance due in March
  • Dates: June 9 – 18, 2023
  • Current Classes: VIII – XII
  • Group Size: 10-18 students
  • Description: Begin in Athens and spend the first part of the trip visiting sites and learning about the ancient history of Greece, the origins of philosophy and the magic of classical theater. Along with two masterful teachers and two local expert guides, have the chance to perform part of a classic play in a 3,000 year old theater, explore famous ruins like the Acropolis, and visit museums and beaches. Enjoy some of the most wonderful food and culture on this planet. In the second half of the trip, travel northward by bus to Delphi, Meteora, Mt. Olympus, and the tiny agricultural town of Giannakohori. Learn about life in a monastery, take a hike, pick fruit and make marmalade with the farmers and discover the art of beekeeping. We will finish the trip with several days in and around the legendary northern city of Thessaloniki, visiting museums, going to the beach, seeing the birthplace of Aristotle, learning about the history of the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, and so much more. We fly home from Thessaloniki after 10 days of marvels, wonders, and fun.

Wildlife Viewing and Conservation in Yellowstone

  • Trip Leaders: John Hansen, Bruce Hale
  • Cost: $1,100 – $1,500
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: June 11 – 15, 2023
  • Current Classes: VIII – XII
  • Group size: 8-20 students
  • Description: Travel by bus and spend 4 days and two nights in and around world-famous Yellowstone National Park, with our own backcountry experts, John Hansen and Bruce Hale. They know how the large mammals of the region live and where to go to see them in the wild. Take beautiful hikes, stunning pictures, and an enlarged perspective on how big game animals live and interact in this unique and breathtaking part of the world. It’s a way of knowing Yellowstone you may never get to experience on an average family trip. The group will stay in a hotel on the periphery of the park and travel in together each day for a new adventure. Waterfalls, geysers, mountains, forests and plains all serve as backdrops for this up close study of wildlife.

Culture, History, and Fairy Tales in Scandinavia

  • Trip Leaders: Casey Robibero and Ashley Achee
  • Cost: $5,400 – $6,500
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: June 13 – 27, 2023
  • Current Classes: VIII-XII
  • Group size: 10-20 students
  • Description: Travel with a native Dane and a literary expert to explore beautiful Scandinavia for two weeks,  learning the fairy tales, traditions, and folklore of Scandinavia. Beginning in Copenhagen, learn the meaning of the Danish philosophy, hygge. Bake a pastry, hunt for hidden trolls, spend a day at Tivoli Gardens, and visit iconic cultural landmarks, galleries and museums throughout the city. Be inspired by Scandinavian storytelling. Take day trips to Malmo, Sweden and Helsingor, where Shakespeare’s Hamlet takes place.

    Exploration will continue through mainland Denmark to Odense, where Hans Christian Andersen (author of The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumbelina) grew up. Experience first-hand Andersen’s perspective and see where he drew his inspiration from. Next we will go to Legoland, in Billund, to creatively express stories through Legos and eat at the Lego restaurant, moving on the next day to Aarhus, to travel through time at Gammelby

    The last leg of our tour takes us to Gothenburg and Stockholm, Sweden. Students will learn about Viking history, see the miraculously rescued Vasa ship, and continue to draw inspiration from fairytales, artwork and culture. Experience Scandinavian life and culture and understand why it is considered one of the happiest places on Earth.

Japan: History, Culture, Core Values

  • Trip Leaders: Tim Stout and Ken Wade
  • Cost: $5,100 – $6,300
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: June 19 – 30, 2023
  • Current Classes: VIII-XII
  • Group size: 10-20 students
  • Description: Students on the Japan Trip will gain an appreciation of this richly traditional yet futuristic country. As students crisscross the land on high speed rail or meditate in Buddhist temples, they will draw connections between Waterford’s core values and this two thousand year old culture which still highly values social harmony and respect for one’s elders (caring), stewardship for the environment and punctuality (responsibility), joy in simple things and celebration of the unusual and unexpected (curiosity), healthy lifestyles and cutting-edge technology (excellence), and public safety and honesty (integrity). They will also make historical connections at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and curriculum connections through hands-on experiences with Japanese traditional art forms. Students will enjoy delicious foods like ramen, sushi, gyoza, curry, and katsudon, as well as many other aspects of modern Japanese culture, such as anime and manga. We will reach out to partner schools with whom we can provide meaningful service opportunities, such as English children’s book donations and participation in elementary school English class activities. During Winter and Spring Terms the students will meet several times with trip leaders, both fluent in Japanese, to learn the basics of the Japanese language and culture, allowing them to enjoy the trip on a deeper level, including how to use proper etiquette and show respect. 

England: The Bard in Context – Exploring the Legacy of Shakespeare

  • Trip Leaders: Andrea Brunken and Alex Gould
  • Cost: $6,400 – $8,200
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: July 7 – 17, 2023
  • Current Classes: VIII-XI
  • Group size: 10-20
  • Description: In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio, we will take students to England to immerse themselves in the history and legacy of William Shakespeare. The first half of our trip will take place in the stunning landscapes of the English countryside, visiting Stonehenge on our way to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the hometown of The Bard. We will spend three days in Stratford, visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s cottage, the site of his family home, and Holy Trinity Church, the site of his baptism and burial. We will also attend a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company, After leaving Stratford, we will drive through the western landscapes of England’s countryside in search of the historical contexts that informed Shakespeare’s political and social environment, enjoying the scenic sites of The Cotswolds by train and by foot, then visiting related sites in Oxford and Hampton. The second half of our trip will then take us to London, where we will become acquainted with the historical sites and contemporary afterlives of Shakespeare’s career as an actor and playwright. In the course of four days, we will visit many major and minor sites connected to the Bard. In addition we will enjoy the city’s plethora of bookstores, markets, pubs, and parks, and attend productions at The Globe, and in London’s broader network of exceptional theatre. 

Biodiversity Studies in South Africa

  • Trip Leaders: Dr. Karla Stucker
  • Cost: $7,900 – $8,700
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: July 7 – 24, 2023
  • Current Classes: IX – XII
  • Group size: 10-20
  • Description: Spend two weeks in South Africa, learning alongside Dr. Stucker and her colleague, Dr. Peter Brothers, a renowned big game veterinarian and conservationist. Working in Kruger National Park and several other game reserves, you will study the care of large mammals, land issues from multiple perspectives, and the challenges we face as we look to care for our world and the people and animals who live in it. Travel by plane, bus, wildlife elevator, and more to get close to the animals, assist the wildlife veterinarians, visit awe-inspiring landscapes, and gain a deep understanding of issues that matter to us all.

    This once in a lifetime trip is closely linked to the Spring Term science offering for Upper School students, entitled, “Conservation Medicine and Ecology: A South African Case Study.” Students in the class are strongly encouraged to go on the trip, but it is also possible for others to join. There will be some sessions and independent study required, in order to catch up to those who took the class and be prepared to get the maximum out of the trip.

MS Outdoor: Idaho Rafting

  • Trip Leaders: Chris Watkins
  • Cost: $2,000 – $2,300
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: July 9 – 15, 2023
  • Current Classes: VII – VIII
  • Group size: 14-18 students
  • Description: In the heat of the summer come play in some of the most beautiful rivers in America! River-running in Idaho is unlike anywhere else. As the longest un-dammed river in the U.S. and flowing through the Lower 48’s largest wilderness area, rafting trips on the Salmon River take kayakers and rafters on a whitewater experience that is unmatched in wildlife, scenery, and adventure. Our trip begins with a two-day kayaking camp where students will learn proper kayaking technique and about river safety before we embark on a 3-day rafting adventure!

US Outdoor: Wind River Wilderness Warriors

  • Trip Leaders: Chris Watkins, Ally Siegel, Priscilla Stewart
  • Cost: $750 – $1,000
    50% non-refundable deposit due in December and the balance due in March.
  • Dates: July 30 – August 6, 2023
  • Current Classes: IX – XII
  • Group size: 8-12 students
  • Description: Come with the Outdoor Program to explore the pristine wilderness of Wyoming’s Wind River Range. We’ll start by backpacking through pine forests into Titcomb Basin where we will establish a basecamp near the stunning and remote Indian Lake. From there we will spend our days fly-fishing in rivers, packrafting across glacial fed lakes, and following ridgelines to panoramic peaks. At night we’ll camp under the stars surrounded by towering granite walls. We’ll conclude our trip by packrafting out through the headwaters of the Green River! If you’re ready to play outside, work hard, and develop leadership and outdoor skills, please come join us.

Application and Payment Deadlines

November 18, 2022 – Application Deadline

To apply for a trip, click on the link at the bottom of that trip’s description and fill out the google form to which you are directed. Please note that the last question on the application is meant to be answered by the student. 

December 1, 2022 – Notification of accepted applications. 

On or before this date, the school will let students (and their families) know if they are accepted to go on the trip.

December 5, 2022 – Deposit Billed to Student Accounts

The tuition deposit is half of the trip cost. Registration is considered confirmed when the deposit is paid (by January 25). It is alright to pay off the entire amount at this time, as well.

December 25, 2022 – Deposit Payment Deadline

The deposit must be paid by this date to hold the spot on the trip. This deposit is non-refundable.

March 5, 2023 – Balance of Academic Travel Billed

The balance of the tuition for summer trips is billed on this date.

March 25, 2023 – Academic Travel Tuition Deadline

The balance of tuition for trips must be paid by this date.


Anticipated Travel 2024

  • Music Performance Trips (Orchestra, Choir, ?)
  • Middle School Latin Trip

Anticipated Travel 2025

  • Upper School Foreign Language Trips

Questions About
Waterford Travel Programs

If you have questions about a specific trip, please contact the Trip Leader, or the Director of Auxiliary Programs, Kent Hercules: kenthercules@waterfordschool.org or 801.816.2296.


Travel 2022

  • Upper School Shakespeare and Hiking in Southern Utah – 2022
  • France: Language Immersion and Culture in Provence
  • Singapore: Culture and History 2022
  • Italy: Ancient Rome and the Renaissance – 2022
  • US/MS Outdoor: Canoeing in the Boundary Waters

Travel 2020

  • Culture and Community Service in Guatemala

Travel 2018-19

Travel with Summer Term in 2019 gave students memorable, even life-changing experiences. We express thanks to Faculty who designed and led these trips and to the families whose support made these trips possible.

  • Spring Break Humanitarian Service in Kolkata, India
  • Ecuador and Galapagos Islands
  • Choir Tour to South Africa
  • A History of Scotland: Vikings, Wallace, and the Bonnie Prince
  • Art and Culture in England, Denmark and Sweden
  • Outdoor Program: Escalante Expedition
  • Outdoor Program: Alaska: Majestic McCarthy
  • Outdoor Program: Ouray Ice Climbing