Each year, nearly a quarter of Hotchkiss students take advantage of opportunities to learn in the world beyond our campus. Faculty-led travel programs, school exchanges, international student conferences, and service projects with other schools prepare our students to live and work as global citizens. Our membership in Round Square, School Year Abroad, the Global Education Benchmarking Group, and the Confucius Classroom connect us to schools and people across the globe. The School is fortunate to have 14 funds to ensure access to these opportunities for all of our students.
- Faculty-Led Travel Programs
- Round Square
- School Year Abroad (SYA)
- Off-Campus Programs
- Gap Year Options
- Summer Program Research
Each year, Hotchkiss faculty members and students embark on journeys throughout the U.S. and the world. In recent years, our travel programs have gone to Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Morocco, New Mexico, Peru, Poland, Québec, Russia, Senegal, Spain, Utah, and Zambia. Programs deepen student understanding of global issues or bring to life the material studied in classes here in Lakeville — from sketching Greek ruins in Paestum to engaging in leadership seminars with Zambian peers to staying with a local family in Vichy.
Round Square is an association of more than 160 schools in 39 countries that work together to promote the IDEALS (Intercultural understanding, Democracy, Environmental awareness, Adventure, Leadership, and Service. During the school year, Hotchkiss hosts students from Round Square member schools on exchange for a marking period or semester, as well as short visits by faculty. Hotchkiss students have the option of participating in marking period and summer exchanges at Round Square schools around the world, and can work at these schools during a gap year. During the summer, Hotchkiss students can contribute to service projects in countries such as Peru, South Africa, and Romania. In addition to the exchange programs, Hotchkiss sends a delegation of students and faculty to the international and regional conferences.
Our membership in the School Year Abroad program allows students to experience another language and culture through total immersion in France, Italy, Spain, or the People's Republic of China. Participants live with host families and pursue a course of study in both English and the language of their host country under the guidance of SYA’s experienced teachers. SYA provides academic credit in addition to college testing and guidance, enabling students to graduate from Hotchkiss with their own class while helping to prepare them for selective colleges and universities. Students apply in their lower or upper mid-year to attend SYA as an upper mid or senior.
Hotchkiss partners with a number of semester and year-long programs that immerse students in a particular area of study while providing them with the tools they need to prepare for college, including standardized testing and college counseling.
Hotchkiss is a member of CITYterm, an interdisciplinary, semester-long program organized around an intensive study of New York City. Students complete a three-credit, honors-level study of New York, including its history, literature, and built environment, that brings classroom lessons to life during excursions into New York City. Students also take classes in math, language or science, ensuring a smooth return to Hotchkiss at the semester’s end. The 30 students who participate in the program are housed on the campus of the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and travel to New York City by commuter train four to five times per week.
Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki
The Maine Coast Semester emphasizes connecting with the natural world through hands-on work, sustainability, and community. Lower mids can apply to spend one semester of their upper mid year living and working with students from other schools at a saltwater farm on Chewonki Neck in Wiscasset, Maine. Students attend traditional classes, but they also study field ecology, work on a farm, live in wood-heated cabins, and learn about renewable energy. The average class size is eight or fewer, with an average of 40 students in the program each semester.
High Mountain Institute Semester
The HMI Semester is a 17-week academic, wilderness, and residential program open to upper mids. The HMI curriculum focuses on building connections to the natural world and leadership skills while preparing students for college with a rigorous academic course load. The semester is divided between the HMI campus in Leadville, Colorado, and five weeks of wilderness expeditions in Colorado and Utah. Because Hotchkiss is an HMI Member School, our students are given preference in admissions and financial aid awards and are guaranteed one semester of transferable academic credit.
The Island School
The Island School offers an intensive, 100-day semester program that focuses on real-world research, problem-solving, and sustainable living practices in Eleuthera, Bahamas. Using the island and ocean as their laboratories, students study history, literature, culture, ecology, and mathematics, guided by scientists and graduate students at the world-class Cape Eleuthera Institute research facility. Students explore the framework of Eleuthera’s cultural and environmental landscape through a student-centered academic, outdoor and community outreach programs.
Each year as many as ten percent of the graduating class will opt to defer college enrollment for a year to work, study abroad, travel, learn a new skill, or work on behalf of a community close to home or far afield.