All Summer 2015 Programs

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Community Service Costa Rica

Live and volunteer in a rural Costa Rican village and work side by side with local people on a summer community service program in Costa Rica for high school students. Wake each morning to the sounds of howler monkeys and exotic birds and spend your day helping build a community center or classroom, teaching English, or running a summer camp for local kids.

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Community Service Dominica

Join us for three weeks of community service in a small village tucked into the volcanic hills of Dominica’s windward coast, on this Caribbean summer program for high school students. Organize a summer camp for kids, join local workers to complete small-scale construction projects, snorkel in crystal clear water of the Caribbean Sea among schools of tropical fish, and hike an active volcano for a picnic alongside the second largest boiling lake in the world.

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Community Service Dominican Republic (8th and 9th Grade)

Travel to a small, undeveloped village in the Caribbean to complete important volunteer projects on this summer community service program in the Dominican Republic. Spend your days volunteering at an enrichment camp for children, laying cement blocks to help build a new classroom, and learning about the lives of local Dominican families.

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Community Service Ecuador & The Galápagos

Spend three weeks living in Ecuador’s Andean highlands on this summer community service program in Ecuador for high school students. Join members of a local Quechua or Yumbo community in meaningful service projects, ranging from light volunteer construction work to teaching schoolchildren to helping with the local harvest. Then, explore the other-worldly landscapes and extraordinary wildlife of the Galápagos Islands – one of the most unusual places on earth and home to giant tortoises, lava tunnels, equatorial penguins, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies. Travel from island to island, boating, hiking, and snorkeling through unmatched geographic and biological diversity.

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Community Service Fiji

Join us for three weeks in the South Pacific on this summer community service program in Fiji for high school students. Work alongside community members to complete a small-scale construction project and volunteer your time at the local kindergarten. Experience this unique culture first hand as you get to know our Fijian hosts and explore the mountains, coast, and coral reefs of this charming island nation.

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Community Service Ghana

Spend a month in a small fishing village in Ghana, West Africa on this summer community service program for high school students. Volunteer on meaningful projects at the Trinity Yard School with local friends, visit the breathtaking Wli Falls, and learn about Ghana’s history at the Cape Coast slave castle.

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Community Service India

Volunteer on construction and agricultural projects on this summer community service program in India for high school students. Spend your days laying cement blocks, paving sidewalks, or teaching English to local children while absorbing the rich colors, sounds, and scents of village life from our unique base in a renovated castle.

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Community Service Nepal

In the foothills of the mighty Himalaya, immerse yourself in the life of a remote village overlooking the lush Kathmandu Valley and collaborate with locals on infrastructure and education projects. Teach English to village children and help build new classrooms for their traditional schoolhouse. Trek through verdant hills to discover hidden temples and sacred sites, and explore the medieval city of Kathmandu.

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Community Service Peru

Immerse yourself in village life in Peru’s Sacred Valley on this South American summer community service program for teenagers. In just under one month, high school students complete meaningful volunteer projects, experience the colorful and rich culture of the descendants of the Incas, and visit some of the most important sites of the Inca empire, including Machu Picchu.

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Community Service Tanzania

Immerse yourself in village life as you join local people to volunteer on community-initiated projects on this summer community service program in Tanzania, East Africa. During the final week, enjoy a specially designed safari that combines world-class wildlife viewing in Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park with a stay at a remote Maasai village.

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Community Service Vietnam

Immerse yourself in the life of a coastal village on this summer community service program in Vietnam for high school students. Our work provides an opportunity to engage in tangible service projects and to build lasting connections with local people. Visit the stunning Ha Long Bay and gorgeous city of Hoi An on weekend excursions.

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Cultural Exploration Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Join us for an active cultural adventure in the South Pacific on this summer program for high school students to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. Experience the otherworldly Australian outback, the alpine winter landscapes of New Zealand, and the island paradise of Fiji. Get beyond the typical tourist itinerary and experience these unique places and cultures in engaging and exciting ways.

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Cultural Exploration Belize

Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, the best preserved rainforest in Central America, and countless Mayan ruins. Plunge into warm Caribbean seas and come face to face with graceful turtles, harmless rays, darting fish, and elusive manatees. Visit the Hol Chan marine reserve and learn how ancient Mayan cultures used their ocean habitat. Stay on a remote island and search for dolphins from a kayak or go for a scuba dive. Back on land, trek through underground caves in search of Mayan relics and climb ancient Mayan temples hidden in the thick jungle. Listen for howler monkeys, toucans, and tapirs hiding in the trees. Taste traditional Mayan food and encounter endangered animals up-close at the Belize Zoo.

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Cultural Exploration Cuba

Based in the lively cultural capital of Havana, this program allows participants to witness history in the making as the long freeze in Cuba – U.S. relations begins to thaw. Explore this fascinating, rapidly changing country through the lens of a field-based workshop, emphasizing active engagement and interaction with the Cuban people.

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Cultural Exploration Farm to Table in Italy

Food – nutritious, abundant, and lovingly prepared – occupies a central role in Italian cultural identity. Together with fellow food lovers and culinary-trained leaders, discover the art and science of Italian food on this summer trip to Italy for high school students. Sow, harvest, cook, and savor as you explore the myriad ingredients of this vital cultural tradition.

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Cultural Exploration Farm to Table in Spain

Food — its cultivation, preparation, and presentation — provides not only sustenance, but also a powerful means of creative expression and shared cultural identity. Together with fellow food lovers and culinary-trained leaders, discover the art and science of Catalan cuisine on this summer trip to Barcelona for high school students. Sow, harvest, cook, and discover the rich stories that accompany mealtime in Northeastern Spain.

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Cultural Exploration Switzerland, Italy, France, Holland

From the mountain trails and summer snowfields of the Swiss Alps and the Italian Dolomites, to the rich culture of Florence and Paris, and on to the bike paths, cheese markets, and beaches of rural Holland, join us to experience Europe as an actively engaged traveler with a group of like-minded students. This is the original Putney program, first led 64 years ago by founders George and Kitty Shumlin.

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Cultural Exploration Thailand

From its aromatic cuisine to its rich cultural and religious traditions and stunning landscape, Thailand has held a mythical fascination for travelers for centuries. Spend two and a half weeks exploring this beautiful country, trekking in the lush rainforest of the mountainous north, traveling Bangkok’s colorful waterways, and relaxing on Thailand’s famed pristine white-sand beaches.

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Cultural Exploration Writing in Ireland

Expand and refine your writing skills with a select group of passionate, like-minded peers. Explore Ireland and study the craft under the guidance of published and acclaimed young writers in an environment that is immersive, vibrant, meaningful, and fun. Write in cafés, monasteries, galleries, and castles perched atop craggy cliffs. Participate in Ireland’s lively storytelling tradition at readings, concerts, plays, city parks, and village taverns.

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Cultural Exploration Writing in Prague

Hone your writing skills during this intensive writing workshop with a community of engaged peers, under the guidance of talented, young writing instructors. Write in medieval city squares, trendy art galleries, hilltop Monasteries, or the corner of a hip café. Attend concerts, public readings, plays, and outdoor festivals as you explore the gritty, avant-garde arts scene of Prague.

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Cultural Exploration Writing in the American South

Expand your writing skills and discover the history, mythos, beauty, and contemporary culture of the American South alongside fellow literary-minded peers and acclaimed writing instructors. Visit New Orleans and Memphis, and explore the cities, towns, and rich landscape of the Mississippi River Delta. Write in cafés, art galleries, city parks, Antebellum ruins, and historic music halls. Visit Civil Rights landmarks, take in live zydeco music, go for a sunset kayak on the bayou, and use your experiences in this vibrant region to fuel your writing.

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Foundations Middle School Alaska

Journey into the unspoiled wilderness of Alaska on this program designed specifically for middle school students. To acquaint yourself with native Alaskan culture, begin your travels in Anchorage with an afternoon of traditional storytelling. Then travel north to the Denali Education Center and explore the subarctic tundra with experienced rangers. Enjoy home-cooked meals on the banks of the Nenana River, and learn about the boreal forests and teeming wildlife of this unique ecosystem. Travel south to Seward, a small village on the Kenai Peninsula, and set off in kayaks to explore beautiful Resurrection Bay. Observe eagles, sea otters, and orcas in their natural habitat. To complete your stay, traverse Exit Glacier and admire the ever-evolving Alaskan landscape.

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Foundations Middle School Australia

Join us for an active cultural adventure Down Under on this summer program in Australia designed specifically for middle school students. Immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture of Australia, camp in the magnificent landscapes of the Australian bush, set sail in the Whitsunday Islands, stargaze from a beach on North Stradbroke Island, or watch the sunset over Sydney harbor. Get beyond the typical tourist itinerary and experience these unique places and cultures in engaging and exciting ways.

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Foundations Middle School Costa Rica

Explore the different themes of Putney programs — Cultural Exploration, Language Learning, and Community Service — on this Foundations program in the beautiful Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. Together with a group of fellow students and staff, enjoy the tropical white-sand beaches of the Pacific Coast, immerse yourself in local culture, and spend a week volunteering in a local village on this summer program for middle school students.

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Foundations Middle School Spain

With the storied southern city of Granada as a home-base, explore Mediterranean landscapes, white-washed villages, and winding cobblestone streets on this summer program in Spain for middle school students. Spend your days engaging with this fascinating city through a diverse array of fun activities. Travel to the mountain forests of Grazalema, and the breezy beaches of Cádiz to celebrate the final days of the program.

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Global Awareness in Action Cambodia

Travel to Cambodia on this summer program for high school students to learn in-depth about the lives of contemporary Cambodians. Explore Cambodian culture through interviews and meetings with local contacts and organizations. Visit USAID sponsored schools to learn about their education projects. Take in the gorgeous ruins of Angkor Wat and the stunning beaches of Kep. Present your group’s work during a youth forum facilitated by your leaders and local contacts.

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Global Awareness in Action India

Join us for one of Putney’s most “off the beaten track” programs and work alongside young Ladakhis to learn about key issues in sustainable development. Explore conservation, education, social change, and other pressing topics on this summer program in India for high school students. Generate questions to investigate throughout your stay as you meet with local leadership and interact with community members. Live and work with high school students at a remote yet innovative school that is completely solar-powered, hike from village to village over high passes, stay with Tibetan monks in monasteries, and contrast the calm majesty of the mountains with the frenetic pace of New Delhi and the serenity of the Taj Mahal in Agra.

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Global Awareness in Action Rwanda

Join this summer program for high school students for an in-depth examination of public health in Rwanda—a small, lush, mountainous East African nation with a horrific recent history, but a remarkably progressive and positive approach to development. Meet with a local youth group to identify key issues of mutual concern, and investigate the questions you raise throughout your trip as you work alongside community members and meet with regional NGO and government leaders. Immerse yourself in two rural communities to learn first-hand from medical workers with varied approaches to the challenges of providing health services, and visit organizations such as a center for disabled children and clinics for families affected by HIV/AIDS. Discuss your reflections with Rwandan friends, and explore implications for our global community and our own lives. Return with a nuanced understanding of the human, social, economic, and technical issues affecting public health in a developing nation.

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Language Learning Costa Rica

Immerse yourself in the life of a rural Latin American village on this summer Spanish language program in Costa Rica for high school students. Practice your Spanish with a farmer while you harvest coffee beans, learn to lay blocks at the project site, run a day camp for children, and delve into Costa Rican life during a week-long family homestay.

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Language Learning Ecuador & the Galápagos

Immerse yourself this summer on this language program in Ecuador for high school students. Practice your Spanish each day as you work hand in hand with Ecuadorian friends in a small mountain village. Undertake meaningful community service initiatives ranging from volunteer construction projects to running a summer camp for local children to helping farmers harvest crops. During your last week in our host community, live with a welcoming local family for a one-week homestay. Next, travel to the high Andes mountains and then to the Galápagos Islands for nine days of outdoor exploration and continued Spanish language immersion.

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Language Learning France (10th, 11th, and 12th Grade)

Immerse yourself in French language and culture as you explore the cosmopolitan cities and off-the-beaten-track villages of France on this summer language immersion program for high school students. Work alongside traditional Breton shopkeepers in a coastal village, learn to make artisanal truffles from a French chocolatier, savor high culture and hidden neighborhoods in the City of Light, go zip-lining and canyoning in the Alps, and spend a homestay week becoming part of a French family.

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Language Learning France (8th and 9th Grade)

Immerse yourself in French language and culture as you explore the cosmopolitan cities and off-the-beaten-track villages of France on this summer language immersion program for middle and high school students. Visit Mont St. Michel and the D-day beaches in Normandy, swim and picnic beneath the Pont du Gard, try zip-lining or surfing, and spend five days becoming part of a French family.

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Language Learning Spain

Immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture on this active summer language program in Spain for high school students. Visit renowned art museums and explore ancient castles and palaces, learn to surf on Spain’s northern coast, hike and horseback ride in the Picos de Europa mountains, and pair up with a local teenager for a language exchange and day stay.

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Pre-College Amherst College

Join us for three weeks of college-style learning on the historic, tree-shaded campus of one of the most prestigious schools in the country, Amherst College. The college’s ivy-covered buildings and the adjacent town common form the heart of the “Five College Consortium,” a vibrant academic network that includes Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges, as well as the University of Massachusetts. The town of Amherst is filled with shops and cafés and is surrounded by rolling hills and rivers, ideal for hiking, canoeing, and biking. During the summer, artists, writers, and musicians make Amherst a lively and exciting place to be.

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Pre-College Barcelona

Join us in Barcelona for an insider’s experience of Spain on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.

Link with another Putney Pre-College program in Madrid, London, or Paris.

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Pre-College Florence

Join us in Florence for an insider’s experience of Italy on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.

Link with another Putney Pre-College program in Madrid, London, or Paris.

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Pre-College London

Join us in London for an insider’s experience of England on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.

Link with another Putney Pre-College program in Florence, Barcelona, or Shanghai.

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Pre-College Madrid

Join us in Madrid for an insider’s experience of Spain on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.

Link with another Putney Pre-College program in Florence, Barcelona, or Shanghai.

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Pre-College Paris

Join us in Paris for an insider’s experience of France on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons and prepare for college with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of staff and students from around the world.

Link with another Putney Pre-College program in Florence, Barcelona, or Shanghai.

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Pre-College Shanghai

Experience the excitement of contemporary China and the richness of its cultural heritage through in-depth, field-based learning. Choose from seminars in Mandarin language, business and economics, architecture and urban design, photography, and Chinese arts as you explore Shanghai together with an inspiring community of staff and students from around the world.

Link with another Putney Pre-College program in Madrid, London, or Paris.

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