International Trips & Exchanges

International experience is an important component in the education of all students. Thus, we offer a variety of age-appropriate opportunities for students to engage with students and people from other countries.

In particular, exchanges provide an intensive immersion experience, which includes living with a host family, attending school with the host student, and experiencing cultural attractions in the city or environments of the host school. Students who participate in a reciprocal exchange are guests of a family abroad and, in return, host a student when they visit Sewickley Academy.

Students who wish to travel independently may seek guidance from the Global Studies office, which maintains a collection of resources for many exciting programs and travel scholarship opportunities. 


Travel and Exchange Trips

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  • Barcelona Exchange (John Talabot) - Grades 9 - 11

    Grades: 9-11
    Trip Dates: Two weeks - Outbound - June 2017; Inbound: Aug/Sept 2017
    Trip Leader: Ms. Monica Lynn, Middle School Spanish faculty 

    What could be better than two weeks of summer along the Mediterranean coast in Barcelona, Spain! Barcelona provides multiple cultural treasures – La Sagrada Familia, Liceo and Las  Ramblas, to name a few – but also a warm, inviting community of families provided to our  students through our partnership with the Colegio John Talabot. In our two-week exchange, SA students will attend John Talabot, and workshops designed by the school – including trips to Mont Juic area, Sitges beach, Museo Picasso, and more. John Talabot is a small, family school whose primary feature is a vibrant tri-lingual community (English/Spanish/Catalan). SA students will experience a true European lifestyle and outlook.  John Talabot students will return to Sewickley in late August 2017 for their two-week immersion in Pittsburgh.  

    Trip Cost: $2,500 - $3,000 
    Global Studies Cultural Engagement Points: 230 points
  • China (First High School of Changsha) - Grades 9 - 11

    Grades: 9 - 11 (Seniors can go if they find a host for their Chinese partner)
    Trip Dates: Two weeks - Outbound - June 2017; Inbound - January 2018
    Faculty Trip Leader: Ms. Jing Zhou, Senior School Mandarin faculty

    Mandarin language is not required. Visit the sites of Beijing, attend classes in Changsha while making friends with a generous host family, interact with pandas at the famous Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, tour Xi’an, and return from Shanghai.  

    Trip Cost: $4,400 - $4,800
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 240 points (with additional Global Action points awarded upon documented hours at the Panda Research Base)
  • German Exchange - Switzerland Included! - Senior School

    Trip Dates: Outbound - July 2017; Inbound - Aug/Sept. 2017 
    Grades: 9 - 11
    Faculty Trip Leaders: Mrs. Nataliya DiDomenico, GS certificate coordinator and former SA German faculty, and Mr. Lee McGinn, Senior School history/economics faculty

    This 38-year reciprocal exchange with the Erasmus-Grasser Gymnasium in Munich, Germany has built a solid partnership of cooperation and friendship. No longer a language-based exchange, SA students will enjoy attending some classes at EGG while enjoying the hospitality of their host family. They will spend time exploring Munich, visiting Neuschwanstein ("Cinderella" castle!), and taking in the gorgeous scenery of Bavaria. A visit to the local BMW factory will provide an opportunity to delve into the German economy, learning about the growth of entrepreneurialism. Students will also have the chance to visit one of Germany's top universities. The trip will be capped with a 3-day visit to Zurich, Switzerland where students will take a look at the famous Swiss banking system.  

    Trip Cost: $4,000 - $4,300
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 230 points
  • Haiti Trip - Grades 10 - 12

    Trip Dates: Winter - 4 days - TBA 
    Grades: 10, 11, 12
    Trip Leader: Leila Wynnyckyj
    Faculty Co-Leader: Mrs. Jessica Peluso, Senior School history faculty 

    Join junior Leila Wynnyckyj for a service trip to work at the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Deschappelles, a leading medical facility in the Artibonite region of Haiti. This adventure will provide participants with insights into many aspects of Haitian society and culture. Highlights include a complete tour of the HAS facilities, the agroforestry program, and one of the outpost clinics, assisting in the youth malnutrition ward, helping to digitize records and interaction with community program leaders and medical staff. The trip will also include a visit to the local school and make a stop at the Moulin Sur Mer Haitian history museum. 

    Trip Cost: $2,200 - $2,400
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 210 (includes 30 hours of Global Action points)

    Space is limited. Preference given to students who are part of the Global Issues: Call to Action course.  
  • Italy: Rome, Florence, and Venice - Senior School

    Grades: 9 - 12
    Trip Dates: March 11 - 20, 2017 (*approx.)
    Faculty Trip Leader: Dr. Joan Cucinotta, Senior School English faculty

    Local tour guides will bring the "jewels of Italy" to life as students travel to major historical sites such as the Colosseum, Vatican City, the Ponte Vecchio, Duomo, St. Mark's Square and the Grand Canal. Not just content to "see" these magnificent landmarks, however, students will participate in a fresco art workshop and gelato-making class in Florence, a glass-blowing demonstration in Venice, and participate in a gladiator experience in Rome. 

    Trip Cost: $5,300 - $5,600
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 120 points
  • Israel: The Children's Village - Senior School

    Trip Dates: March 19 - 30
    Grades: 9 - 12
    Students will be accompanied by Dr. Tsipy Gur, Executive Director of CWB, and an adult chaperone.

    Students will focus on service as part of a collaboration with local organization Classrooms Without Borders and their work with The Children’s Village of Karmi’el, Israel. Located in the northern region of Galilee, this trip provides a unique opportunity to see how another country has designed their foster care system around a “family” structure. Side trips to Jerusalem and various historic sites are included as part of this travel experience. Fund-raising in advance of the trip will be organized by the group in pre-travel sessions. Limited spaces are available and the trip is offered to several Pittsburgh independent schools.  

    Trip cost: $3,900
    GS Cultural Engagement points: 
    180 points
    (*Global Action points will be added upon return and documentation of service hours submitted.)

    For more information about Classrooms without Borders click here
  • Poland Personally: A Study Seminar to Poland - Senior School

    Trip Dates: June 25 - July 3
    Grades: 9 - 12

    Offered in partnership with Classrooms Without Borders. Accompanied by a Holocaust survivor, students and teachers will view Poland, its people, its government and socioeconomics in unique ways that will increase their understanding of the value of diversity and the results of prejudice. This experience is powerful and life changing. It offers a distinctive view of the history of Poland, its current position in global relationships and how genocide remains a reality today in third world countries.

    Trip cost: $3,900 for students
                      $1,700 for teachers

  • Reciprocal Exchange - England - Grade 9

    The Perse School Exchange, Cambridge 
    Dates: Two weeks. Inbound: April 2017. Outbound: Mid-June 2017
    Grades: 9
    Trip leader: Ms. Kalyn Currie, Lower School faculty

    Students visit Pittsburgh in April and attend classes with their host sibling while seeing the sights of Western Pennsylvania. In June, SA students will go to Cambridge, stay with their host partner, and explore and immerse themselves in the modern culture and historical traditions of England. Day trips include Oxford and London, where students will tour St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Buckingham Palace, Bodleian Library, Cambridge colleges and Blenheim Palace, to name a few.

    Cost: $2,500 - $3,000
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 210

Summer Travel

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  • Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

    Grades: 9 - 12  
    Trip Dates: June 11-25, 2017 (tentative)
    Faculty Trip Leaders: Mr. Matt Michaels, Senior School math faculty Dr. Ron Kinser and Senior School biology faculty

    Iceland provides the opportunity to see a vast array of geological wonders, from glaciers to volcanoes and waterfalls, to watching puffins on a black sand beach. Highlights of the trip include a visit to the Viking Museum in Reykjavik, traveling on toe Thingvellir National Park, a visit to Gullfoss, a tour of the Vatnajokull Glacier. Adventure aspects of the trip will be plentiful! The trip will incorporate hiking, ice-climbing, glacier walking, white-water rafting, and summiting one of the highest peaks in Iceland. With a focus on geology, renewable energy, the resilience of the Icelandic people, and climate change, this travel experience is unique, educational, and fun!   

    Trip Cost: $4,000 - $4,200  
    Global Studies Cultural Engagement Points: 130 points

    Enrollment is limited due to space in the van, and spots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • India: Crossroads of Belief - Senior School

    Grades: 9 - 12
    Trip Dates: June 12-24, 2017 

    SA is partnering with SAGE Global Education to offer this unique itinerary which will focus on the religions and cultures of northern India. Taste regional cuisine, witness diverse practices of three major world religions, and seek to understand how culture and religion intersect. Highlights include the Lakshminarayan Hindu Temple, the incredible Taj Mahal, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and will offer a hike up to Triund in the Himalayas and visit the residence of the Dali Lama. Opportunities for interaction and service will occur at the Gyuto Monastery and at the Tibetan Children's School. Check out this video.  

    Trip Cost: $4,500 - $4,800
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 150 points (*Global Action points can be awarded in addition based on hours of service.)
  • Peru: The Inca Trail - Senior School

    Grades: 9 - 12
    Trip Dates: June 10-19, 2017 (tentative)
    Faculty Trip Leaders: Ms. Tracy Wazenegger Senior School science faculty and Ms. Ruthie Hansen Librarian

    Starting in the capital city of Lima, students will observe the contrast between old town and the more modern beaux-arts architecture. Taking a flight to Cuzco, students will begin their in-depth look at the Incan empire through the magnificent temple ruins of the well-preserved secret city of Machu Picchu.  Set nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, the nearly 200 remaining structures present an amazing window in the Incan culture. A full day excursion to the Sacred Valley will include a visit to the famous Indian Market. A visit to Puno, the famed folklore capital of Peru will be capped by a boat ride across Lake Titicaca and a stop at Taquile Island.  

    Trip Cost: $4,400 - $4,700
    Global Studies Cultural Engagement Points: 130 points
  • Russia and the Baltic States - Senior School

    Grades: 9 - 12
    Trip Dates: June 23-July 4, 2017
    Faculty Trip Leader: Mrs. Nataliya DiDomenico GS Certificate Coordinator

    Starting in Moscow, students will visit Red Square, the Kremlin, and then take The Grand Express to St. Petersburg, often called "The Venice of the North." Students will become personally engaged by interacting in round table discussions at a local Russion school. A day trip to the countryside ("dacha") will show a different side of Russia while preparing a local Russian meal. From Russia the group will take the ferry to Estonia where they will hear stories of life behind the Iron Curtain. Departing from Helsinki, the students will have the added bonus of experiencing a bit of Finland while viewing the Baltic Sea from the "other side."    

    Trip Cost: $5,400 - $5,700
    GS Cultural Engagement Points: 140 points
*Prices quoted are approximate and should be used for budget planning only.                       


Financial aid is available to qualified candidates through the Global Studies Office. Students who qualify may receive aid for one trip during the Middle School years and one trip during the Senior School years. Families need to plan strategically to
maximize a student's travel options.

All financial aid is need based.

For more information regarding GS financial aid, contact the Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. Bevan Koch at

Questions?  Contact the Global Studies Office at 412.741.2230 Ext. 4411 or via email at: 
Mr. Ken Goleski, GS Program Coordinator; Mrs. Nataliya DiDomenico, GS Certificate Coordinator.

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