For students currently in grades 9–12
Alaska
Baja & the Gulf of California
Barcelona
Belize
Chile & Peru
Germany & Sweden
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Montana
Peru
Switzerland
Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji
Croatia & Slovenia
Cuba
Faroe Islands & Iceland
Italy & Greece
Japan
Kilimanjaro
Panama & Colombia
Patagonia: Skiing
Spain, France, & Portugal
Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland
Ecuador & the Galápagos
France
Spain
Barcelona
Tokyo
Tuscany
Argentina
Costa Rica
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Fiji
Hawai'i
Morocco
Nepal
Peru
Puerto Rico
Tanzania
Thailand
Vietnam
France & Holland
Iceland
Italy & Greece
France
Spain
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Hawai'i
Need help choosing the program right for you? Call us! 802.387.5000

Hands-On Experiences to Inspire Your Future

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Adventure Travel & Cultural Immersion

Community Engagement & Global Awareness

Active Immersion in Language & Culture

Our Programs

High School
For students currently in grades 9–12

Alaska

Climate & Conservation

July 14 — July 25
$7,990 + airfare

Alaska

Climate & Conservation

July 14 — July 25
$7,990 + airfare

Travel to rugged Alaska this summer, where North America’s tallest peaks tower over massive glaciers, wild rivers wind through spruce forests and alder thickets, and the tundra seems to go on forever. Discover these spectacular landscapes and the wildlife that inhabits them—from moose and grizzlies to seals and otters. Get a first-hand look at the effects of climate change on these landscapes, ecosystems, and communities, and learn how to communicate climate realities effectively. Work with scientists, scholars, and local communities, learn about Alaska Native cultures and heritage, and embrace adventure as you trek across a glacier, sea kayak in rich coastal waters, and hike with a naturalist guide in Denali National Park. Return home with a deeper understanding of how local knowledge is a fundamental part of addressing climate change, and how shaping narratives around climate change can lead to just solutions.

• Go tidepooling by the pristine waters of Kachemak Bay
• Discuss the effects of climate change on Alaska’s glaciers
• Scout for moose, caribou, and grizzlies in Denali National Park
• Visit dog-sledders whose traditional sport is impacted by climate
“I left with a greater understanding of the mechanisms of climate change as well as its causes and impacts.”
—Otto E., Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ
Featured

Expert

An Expert joins each Career program for a portion of the itinerary, lending their insights and perspectives to the experience. Our program Expert for 2024 is coming soon!
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Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your program leaders in Seattle, and fly together to Anchorage. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Anchorage — 2 days

Begin your adventure in the city of Anchorage, which serves as the gateway to both interior Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. Get to know your group during a program orientation to Alaska’s varied geography, ecology, history, and culture. Head out for day hikes as you explore the nearby parks and the Chugach Mountain range while learning to identify local flora and fauna. Interview locals about the very visible effects of climate change and how it is affecting the present and future. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to meet with Native representatives from Alaska’s 11 indigenous groups. Listen to storytellers, see demonstrations of Alaska Native games, and explore traditional homes typical of cultures from across the state.

Homer — 3 days

Head southwest to the Kenai Peninsula to explore the small coastal town of Homer, situated on Kachemak bay and bordered by dramatic mountains. Spend three days at the Peterson Bay Field Station run by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, and engage with local naturalists and scientists through hands-on experiences studying the effects of climate change. Travel by boat to a remote tidewater glacier to learn about glacier recession first hand while you navigate icebergs. Go tidepooling along rocky shorelines in search of octopus dens, starfish, and sea urchins, and scan the coast for bald eagles perched amid the treetops. Explore the bay, scouting for sea lions, otters, and puffins in the calm, icy waters and head back to the Field Station to discuss the effects of climate change on Alaska’s precious wildlife.

Talkeetna — 1 day

Depart Homer and head back through Anchorage by way of Chugach State Park. Enjoy an afternoon in Talkeetna with a visit to the Walter Harper Ranger Station, the jumping-off point for mountaineers attempting to summit Denali and other peaks. Get your first glimpse of the “Great One,” and spend the night in Talkeetna before continuing on to Denali National Park.

Denali National Park — 4 days

Travel north to the massive and wild Denali National Park and Preserve—at more than six million acres, roughly the size of the entire state of Vermont. Join naturalist guides from the Denali Education Center on a guided hike up one of the National Park trails, taking in the views and experiencing this remote and unspoiled wilderness. Keep an eye out for a glimpse of the icy summit of Denali, North America’s tallest mountain at 20,308 feet, and scout for some of the park’s astounding range of wildlife, from caribou and grizzlies to Dall sheep and golden eagles. Learn the differences between the glacier-fed rivers rich with minerals and the clear mountain waters from the Alaska Range in which Arctic grayling thrive. Go fly fishing for grayling, try white water rafting on the glacial Nenana River, and experience the braided river systems of Denali firsthand.

Anchorage — 1 day

Return to Anchorage, stopping along the way for a guided walk at Eagle River Nature Center. The nature center’s mission is to explore our relationship with the natural world and pay homage to the beautiful nature and wildlife in the surrounding Chugach mountains. Settle back in Anchorage for the day, share your final project with your group, and enjoy a final celebration dinner together before returning home.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Anchorage to Seattle with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your program leaders in Seattle, and fly together to Anchorage. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Anchorage — 2 days

Begin your adventure in the city of Anchorage, which serves as the gateway to both interior Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula. Get to know your group during a program orientation to Alaska’s varied geography, ecology, history, and culture. Head out for day hikes as you explore the nearby parks and the Chugach Mountain range while learning to identify local flora and fauna. Interview locals about the very visible effects of climate change and how it is affecting the present and future. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to meet with Native representatives from Alaska’s 11 indigenous groups. Listen to storytellers, see demonstrations of Alaska Native games, and explore traditional homes typical of cultures from across the state.

Homer — 3 days

Head southwest to the Kenai Peninsula to explore the small coastal town of Homer, situated on Kachemak bay and bordered by dramatic mountains. Spend three days at the Peterson Bay Field Station run by the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, and engage with local naturalists and scientists through hands-on experiences studying the effects of climate change. Travel by boat to a remote tidewater glacier to learn about glacier recession first hand while you navigate icebergs. Go tidepooling along rocky shorelines in search of octopus dens, starfish, and sea urchins, and scan the coast for bald eagles perched amid the treetops. Explore the bay, scouting for sea lions, otters, and puffins in the calm, icy waters and head back to the Field Station to discuss the effects of climate change on Alaska’s precious wildlife.

Talkeetna — 1 day

Depart Homer and head back through Anchorage by way of Chugach State Park. Enjoy an afternoon in Talkeetna with a visit to the Walter Harper Ranger Station, the jumping-off point for mountaineers attempting to summit Denali and other peaks. Get your first glimpse of the “Great One,” and spend the night in Talkeetna before continuing on to Denali National Park.

Denali National Park — 4 days

Travel north to the massive and wild Denali National Park and Preserve—at more than six million acres, roughly the size of the entire state of Vermont. Join naturalist guides from the Denali Education Center on a guided hike up one of the National Park trails, taking in the views and experiencing this remote and unspoiled wilderness. Keep an eye out for a glimpse of the icy summit of Denali, North America’s tallest mountain at 20,308 feet, and scout for some of the park’s astounding range of wildlife, from caribou and grizzlies to Dall sheep and golden eagles. Learn the differences between the glacier-fed rivers rich with minerals and the clear mountain waters from the Alaska Range in which Arctic grayling thrive. Go fly fishing for grayling, try white water rafting on the glacial Nenana River, and experience the braided river systems of Denali firsthand.

Anchorage — 1 day

Return to Anchorage, stopping along the way for a guided walk at Eagle River Nature Center. The nature center’s mission is to explore our relationship with the natural world and pay homage to the beautiful nature and wildlife in the surrounding Chugach mountains. Settle back in Anchorage for the day, share your final project with your group, and enjoy a final celebration dinner together before returning home.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Anchorage to Seattle with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_XCROA_XPATA_Himraj Soin
Himraj Soin
View Bio
2023_CBELA_NGXBAJB_Jordann Waldron
Jordann Waldron
View Bio
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Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_XCROA_XPATA_Himraj Soin
Himraj Soin
View Bio
2023_CBELA_NGXBAJB_Jordann Waldron
Jordann Waldron
View Bio
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About the Destination

As the United States’ largest and least densely populated state, Alaska is covered with remote wilderness, towering mountains, and a vibrant Alaska Native culture. Most of the Alaskan population lives in Southcentral Alaska, which includes Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. The majority of Interior Alaska is remote arctic and subarctic wilderness, including the six-million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve. Indigenous groups have lived in Alaska for thousands of years, and today Alaska Natives still make up more than 15% of the state’s population.

Language

In addition to English there are 11 languages and a total of 22 different dialects spoken by Alaska’s 11 native cultural groups.

Climate

Highs during the day in the summertime can vary from around 60–75ºF (15–24°C) degrees, with lows at night dipping to 50ºF (10°C). Expect sunlight for around 17 hours a day, so be sure to bring a sleep mask! While rain is less likely during the summertime months, there could be a light sprinkle here and there.

Cuisine

You can find most types of cuisine in Alaska, from tacos to local vegetarian food. Common breakfast items include reindeer sausage and large portions of hotcakes.

About the Destination

As the United States’ largest and least densely populated state, Alaska is covered with remote wilderness, towering mountains, and a vibrant Alaska Native culture. Most of the Alaskan population lives in Southcentral Alaska, which includes Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula. The majority of Interior Alaska is remote arctic and subarctic wilderness, including the six-million-acre Denali National Park and Preserve. Indigenous groups have lived in Alaska for thousands of years, and today Alaska Natives still make up more than 15% of the state’s population.

Language

In addition to English there are 11 languages and a total of 22 different dialects spoken by Alaska’s 11 native cultural groups.

Climate

Highs during the day in the summertime can vary from around 60–75ºF (15–24°C) degrees, with lows at night dipping to 50ºF (10°C). Expect sunlight for around 17 hours a day, so be sure to bring a sleep mask! While rain is less likely during the summertime months, there could be a light sprinkle here and there.

Cuisine

You can find most types of cuisine in Alaska, from tacos to local vegetarian food. Common breakfast items include reindeer sausage and large portions of hotcakes.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Program Theme

Whether your goal is to pursue a career in climate science, climate communications, conservation, or science journalism, this summer program provides opportunities to dive deep into issues of climate change. Learn about how changes are impacting Alaska’s varied ecosystems, from the coast to the interior taiga and tundra; meet with Alaskans to learn how indigenous knowledge and local community experience can shape responses and solutions; and work with scientists and naturalists at a coastal field station and Interior education center. Students will engage with real-world knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and discover how narratives informed by realities on the ground can lead to action and more effective solutions.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—become an expert on native flora or fauna, put together a slideshow with your nature and landscape photography, create a recipe book with Alaskan Native cuisine, or learn a traditional Athabaskan song.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities. You can expect to go hiking, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, glacier trekking, and exploring towns on foot.

Altitude

Most of the program is near sea level in Anchorage and Homer, but in Denali we could hike up to 5,000 feet above sea level.

Accommodations

While in Anchorage, students stay in dorm-style accommodations at hotels or lodges. In Homer we stay at a field station in yurts within walking distance to the ocean. In Denali, we stay in cabins near the edge of Denali National Park. Leaders reside in the same location as students.

Meals

We cook and eat breakfast and some dinners at our accommodations. For lunches we head to the market to buy supplies for a picnic lunch or get take-away meals. Often dinners will be at restaurants.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Program Theme

Whether your goal is to pursue a career in climate science, climate communications, conservation, or science journalism, this summer program provides opportunities to dive deep into issues of climate change. Learn about how changes are impacting Alaska’s varied ecosystems, from the coast to the interior taiga and tundra; meet with Alaskans to learn how indigenous knowledge and local community experience can shape responses and solutions; and work with scientists and naturalists at a coastal field station and Interior education center. Students will engage with real-world knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and discover how narratives informed by realities on the ground can lead to action and more effective solutions.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore an aspect of local culture of particular interest to you—become an expert on native flora or fauna, put together a slideshow with your nature and landscape photography, create a recipe book with Alaskan Native cuisine, or learn a traditional Athabaskan song.

Physical Activity

This is a physically active summer travel program. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities. You can expect to go hiking, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, glacier trekking, and exploring towns on foot.

Altitude

Most of the program is near sea level in Anchorage and Homer, but in Denali we could hike up to 5,000 feet above sea level.

Accommodations

While in Anchorage, students stay in dorm-style accommodations at hotels or lodges. In Homer we stay at a field station in yurts within walking distance to the ocean. In Denali, we stay in cabins near the edge of Denali National Park. Leaders reside in the same location as students.

Meals

We cook and eat breakfast and some dinners at our accommodations. For lunches we head to the market to buy supplies for a picnic lunch or get take-away meals. Often dinners will be at restaurants.

A Day in the Life: ​

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Denali.
7:00am
Rise early for a morning walk to scout for wildlife
9:00am
Eat a hearty breakfast with your group
10:00am
Learn about climate impacts on the subarctic environment with expert naturalists
11:00am
Embark on a hike up Triple Lakes Trail or Mckinley Station Trail with naturalist guides
3:00pm
Return to the cabins to rest and relax by the creek
5:00pm
Begin dinner preparation and prepare a meal in small teams
7:00pm
Attend a workshop led by your program expert
9:00pm
Play cards around the campfire and host the nightly meeting to recap the day
10:00pm
Group meeting to recap the day and prepare for the next

A Day in the Life:

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Denali.
7:00am
Rise early for a morning walk to scout for wildlife
9:00am
Eat a hearty breakfast with your group
10:00am
Learn about climate impacts on the subarctic environment with expert naturalists
11:00am
Embark on a hike up Triple Lakes Trail or Mckinley Station Trail with naturalist guides
3:00pm
Return to the cabins to rest and relax by the creek
5:00pm
Begin dinner preparation and prepare a meal in small teams
7:00pm
Attend a workshop led by your program expert
9:00pm
Play cards around the campfire and host the nightly meeting to recap the day
10:00pm
Group meeting to recap the day and prepare for the next
“I gained a better understanding of what actions are being taken to combat climate change, how to talk about climate change, and how to get people to care about climate change.”
—Querida A., Millbrook School, Plainfield, NJ

This Program is Directed by

Devon Swinburne

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

This Program is Directed by

Devon Swinburne

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

Enroll in two programs & save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Alaska
Climate & Conservation

2024 Dates
July 14 — July 25

Duration
12 days

Tuition
$7,990 + airfare

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
14–16

Group Flight
Departs from Seattle


 

Additional Info

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

 

2024 Dates
July 14 — July 25

Duration
12 days

Tuition
$7,990 + airfare


 

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
14–16

Group Flight
Departs from Seattle

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

Share this program:

Request More Info

Alaska
Baja & the Gulf of California
Barcelona
Belize
Chile & Peru
Germany & Sweden
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Montana
Peru
Switzerland
Australia, New Zealand, & Fiji
Croatia & Slovenia
Cuba
Faroe Islands & Iceland
Italy & Greece
Japan
Kilimanjaro
Panama & Colombia
Patagonia: Skiing
Spain, France, & Portugal
Switzerland, Italy, France, & Holland
Spain
France
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Tuscany
Barcelona
Tokyo
Argentina
Costa Rica
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Fiji
Hawai'i
Morocco
Nepal
Peru
Puerto Rico
Tanzania
Thailand
Vietnam
Iceland
France & Holland
Italy & Greece
Spain
France
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador & the Galápagos
Hawai'i

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