SYA Kaleidoscope: Reflecting on 60 Years


SYA began as an idea 60 years ago. An idea for high schoolers to improve their language skills by living and studying for an entire school year in another country. In September 1964, 11 boys from nine different high schools departed by boat to Barcelona to do just that. But they came home changed — yes, their Spanish was much improved, but they also had an awareness of the world and their role in it that simply could not have been acquired by sitting in a classroom in a U.S. high school. And over 9,000 other adventurous high schoolers followed in their footsteps.

The 60th Anniversary theme is SYA Kaleidoscope: Reflecting on 60 Years. From the kaleidoscopic array of cultures and languages to the intricate patterns of shared experiences and lifelong connections, SYA’s journey has been one of constant change and growth. Like the ever-shifting hues and shapes within a kaleidoscope, our school has evolved, yet its essence remains a testament to the transformative power of cross-cultural exchange.

Throughout the 2024-2025 academic year, join us as we share stories, memories and photographs highlighting the power of SYA. In the meantime, save the dates of April 25-30 for a milestone celebration that begins in Barcelona, the site of our first campus,  and ends in Zaragoza, our home in Spain since 1998.

Planning Survey

This survey is an opportunity for our community to tell us how YOU want to celebrate! Please take five minutes to let us know what you are interested in participating in, reading, learning, attending, etc.

Your responses about the event will help us understand where and how you would like to gather for this milestone occasion, and what content you would like to see in the months leading up to the celebration. While your response will not signify any kind of commitment to attend, please answer thoughtfully and candidly. All responses will be considered as we determine venues and activities.

Take the survey