Educational Travel

Educational travel is a key component of the SYA experience, providing opportunities for engagement in the host country, academic learning, cultural enrichment, and personal discovery and growth. You'll travel not as a tourist, but as a resident of the host country in which you live. At SYA, you'll travel as a whole school and in smaller faculty-led groups. Travel is a transformative experience, providing a lens through which you can better understand yourself, your host family and adopted community in which you live, and the U.S. differently. Travel is also integrated into all aspects of the curriculum via multi-day trips, field trips to local museums and historical sites to observe what has been discussed in the classroom or as part of co-curricular activities, vacations and trips with host families, and independent travel.

To this end, each SYA school includes travel as a required component of the curriculum. SYA travel includes both large and small group travel, and all SYA school trips are staffed by faculty to ensure your safety. As a required part of the curriculum, all school travel is included in tuition.

"The beauty of SYA is that it allows you to both participate in a new culture as a traveler and allows you to dig deeper into the roots of the local society, leading to a truly amazing and unique experience abroad."

- Kate V. CN'19, St. Stephen's Episcopal School, TX

SYA's Educational Travel opportunities vary each year.

Check out last year's trips and student reflections on their travels below:


In the 2018-2019 academic year, SYA China students went on educational travel trips to the Shanxi Province, the Yunnan Province and the Gansu Province, as well as trips to Harbin and Chengde.


In the 2018-2019 academic year, SYA France students went on a educational travel trips to Brittany, the Loire Valley, Normandy, Marseille, Montpelier, Mont St. Michel and Paris. In addition, some students participated in the Global Issues Network Conference in Luxemburg, and Model United Nations in Geneva. 


In the 2018-2019 academic year, SYA Italy students went on educational travel trips to Rome, Sicily and Turin as well as trips to Terracina, Tarquinia, and Arezzo. In addition, some students participated in the Global Issues Network Conference in Luxemburg, and an educational trip on conflict resolution in Cyprus through the University of Nicosia. 


In the 2018-2019 academic year, SYA Spain students went on educational travel trips to Alquézar, Extremadura and Paris, as well as trips to Andalusia, Basque Country, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Pamplona and the Pyrenees Mountains.

Independent Travel

Independent travel is the opportunity to travel outside of your host city unaccompanied by host parents or SYA faculty. It can lead to a greater immersion in the host country culture, increased language proficiency and a furthering of the student’s educational goals. It is an earned privilege, not a right. Students who are in good academic standing, who are working toward mastery of the country’s host language, who are in good standing in the student’s host family and who have the ability to make healthy and appropriate decisions when engaged in independent activity may earn the privilege to travel independently, beginning in mid-late November.

"Independent travel held some incredible educational and life experiences outside the classroom and taught me so much about experiencing and exploring cultures."

- Ellis C. ES'18, St. Paul's School, NH

Permission to travel independently requires the approval of the Resident Director, signed permission from Parents/Guardians and signed acknowledgement from the student of his/her responsibilities.