Field Trips

Over the course of the month students enjoy several day-long field trips. These include trips to medieval towns, Mediterranean beaches, Greek and Roman ruins, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and, in England, a day trip to London. Students benefit from a combination of guided tours, free time to explore, and unique classes crafted by their Major teacher to take advantage of each location. In New York, students tour some of America’s top universities as part of a full program of college visits. Below are descriptions of some of the field trips our students enjoy.

The Cambridge Tradition and Prep
Canterbury is a beautiful medieval town, and has been a seat of religious power for almost 1500 years. Its Cathedral was founded in 597 AD, and was the site in which Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170 by King Henry II’s knights. As a result of this grizzly event, Chaucer made the Cathedral the destination of his pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales
The Oxford Prep 
One of the most ancient monuments in the world, Stonehenge is believed to have been erected circa 2500 BC. To this day the exact purpose of the site is unknown - perhaps a calendar, a tool for astronomy, a place of religious sacrifices, or an aristocratic burial ground. The mystery only adds to Stonehenge’s continuing allure.

The Oxford and Cambridge Programs
The capital of the United Kingdom, the seat of Parliament, and the home of the Royal Family, London is truly one of the greatest cities in the world. It offers students unforgettable sites and experiences. Each Major class teacher crafts a unique visit for their students, a sampling of London that features sites of curricular relevance.

L’Académie de Paris
Initially a modest hunting lodge, Versailles came to epitomize the power and the glory of Louis XIV’s (1638-1715) absolutist rule, as well as its excesses and eventual bloody unravelling. Students receive a guided tour of the spectacular state apartments and the Hall of Mirrors. They enjoy a picnic lunch by one of the great lakes before exploring the vast, extravagant gardens, the Petit and the Grand Trianons, and the hamlet that Marie Antoinette built as her personal rustic playground.

Vaux le Vicomte
L’Académie de Paris

The grandeur and elegance of this beautiful 17th-century château and its landscaped gardens, commissioned by Louis XIV’s finance minister, are breathtaking – so breathtaking that they drove the Sun King mad with envy. Our group arrives in the late afternoon for a guided tour of the château, which is majestically furnished in the style of the era. The students then spend an evening strolling among the formal gardens, fountains, and lakes, exploring the estate, which is entirely illuminated by candlelight.

La Academia de Barcelona 
This walled city dates from Roman times when it occupied a strategic location between the Pyrenees and Barcelona. It combines narrow, cobbled streets with magnificent monuments, Arab baths, convents, churches, and a cathedral. Students visit the Museum of Jewish History, in the old Jewish quarter, which contains the world’s finest collection of medieval tombstones engraved in Hebrew.

L’Académie de France
Often called the City of Popes, Avignon is an absolute must-see in Provence. The magnificent Papal Palace, which was the residence of seven popes in the 14th century, dominates the city, along with the remaining ramparts and the Benezet Bridge, made famous by the French song, "Sur le pont d’Avignon." In the summer, the celebrated theater festival attracts street performers and comedians from all over the world.

La Academia de Barcelona
Students visit the Benedictine monastery that was founded in the 11th century. It holds a collection that includes paintings by world famous artists such as El Greco, Caravaggio, Miró, Picasso, and Dalí. Montserrat is also a national park – the monastery offers spectacular mountain views. Students take a funicular railway to the top of the mountain where they can hike among the unusual rock formations and listen to the charming bells of the abbey.

La Academia de España
Segovia was first identified in Celtic times, and it stands as a testimony to the great cultural diversity of Spain. Students explore this UNESCO World Heritage site by visiting the aqueduct, Spain’s most important work of Roman civil engineering; the Jewish synagogue, confiscated in 1419 and converted into the church of Corpus Christi; and the Alcázar of Segovia, a favorite palace of the Kings of Castile.

Broughton Castle
The Oxford Tradition
Located in the Cotswolds, this castle has stood since the 14th century, and it has remained in the same family since it was built. Students are introduced to this magnificent structure and its grounds on a private tour with Lord Saye and Sele himself, who explains the long history of his ancestral home.