Global awareness matters more than ever, and our mission is to help Groton students become caring, ethical, and knowledgeable citizens of the world.
At Groton, global education is:
an essential component of the school’s mandate for the twenty-first century
a vigorous program of experiential learning
a geographically and culturally diverse profile of experiences
integrated with curriculum whenever possible
accessible to all students
Traveling groups become a mutually reliant team, learning together and sharing the experience with local hosts. The experience aims to rise above intellectual, artistic, service, or athletic purposes: at its core, it teaches students to exercise good judgment, to value justice, and to share with other communities.
Groton's Global Education Opportunities (GEOs) help students understand cultural, socioeconomic, and political disparities throughout the world. The communities visited are not backdrops to the student experience, but rather full partners in our endeavors.
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Groton takes students to the Sacred Valley of Peru, the heartland of the Inca civilization, for several summer weeks. Students stay with families in the town of Ollantaytambo, considered the last living Inca town. In the center of town is the remarkable Sun Temple, built with stonework considered second to none, including that of Machu Picchu. Everybody’s Spanish improves, and some students even return with an impressive number of words and phrases in Quechua, still spoken in Ollantaytambo. The highlight of this trip is spending time with the home-stay families—students grow close to their families and often consider them their second family in a distant part of the world.
Students participate in afternoon activities in the community, such as teaching young children art, music, dance, and sports. During the trip, students also visit Machu Picchu, the Incan capital of Cusco, and take some breathtaking hikes. The program ends with a day in Cusco, the capital of the Incas, where students observe firsthand historical sites that shed light on the confluence of two different civilizations, the Conquistadors and the Incas.
Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) to Peru occurs every other year.
Groton School has established a partnership with Orkeeswa Secondary School, in the Monduli Hills of Northern Tanzania. During the three-week program, Groton students are immersed in Masai culture and develop lasting friendships with Tanzanian high school students. Groton students work and play side by side with members of the Orkeeswa community—students, teachers, and parents—through projects, classes, games, and Swahili language immersion. A home stay in a nearby boma provides students with understanding of life as an Orkweesa student. Groton leaders encourage students to focus on leadership, global issues, and personal reflection.
Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) to Tanzania occurs every other year.
In India, Groton students embark on a journey of discovery through civilizations both ancient and contemporary, with educational, cultural, historical, and spiritual elements. Students are exposed to lives of great Indians like the Buddha, Emperor Ashoka, Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Emperor Akbar, Mahatma Gandhi, and Rabindranath Tagore. The journey begins in Delhi, moves to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, and continues to Varanasi, a great center of religion, before settling for about a week in Dehradun, where we are hosted by The Doon School and Welham Girls School.
Participants explore areas that few tourists visit and come to understand some of the structures and subtleties of India's multi-faceted life. We visit villages and cities, take a boat ride on the Ganges, taste different cuisines, visit schools and homes, and shop in local markets. We visit museums, monuments, and shrines, and we experience Indian art through sculpture, dance, painting, and music. Students have the opportunity to meet with women and men from all walks of life, from the powerful to the dispossessed, tribal to corporate, artisan to academic. The outer journey informs the inner journey, through teachings, mindful practices, self-reflection, journaling, and discussions.
Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) to India occurs every other year, alternating with the GEO to China.
In China, students visit the mid-sized city of Chengde, nestled in a beautiful valley a few hours northeast of Beijing. Students stay at Chengde #3 Middle School, where they visit classes, practice Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting, learn Mongolian and Manchurian dance, and hang out with their Chinese peers while exploring the neighborhood and enjoying home stays over the weekends.
During most mornings, students visit the Zhongyingzi Primary School, in an economically undeveloped area on the outskirts of Chengde, where they teach English and help with manual labor. Groton students also visit the Great Wall and spend time exploring Beijing.
The Groton School China GEO immerses students in Chinese society; it is ideal for students who wish to improve their Mandarin or learn about one the world’s greatest civilizations.
Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) to China occurs every other year, alternating with the GEO to India.
Bonjour et en route pour la France! Groton’s GEO (Global Education Opportunity) in France is a great opportunity for French learners to live the French culture and language. A combination of enriching excursions and home life experience, the trip begins in the city of Angers, in the historically rich Loire Valley, where students are hosted by French families of the Lycée Saint Martin. Mornings include classes, followed by visits to sites and cities in the afternoon (such as Châteaux de la Loire, Angers, and Saumur). At the end of the first week, we travel to Paris for four days, staying in a centrally located hotel, between Musée du Louvre and Opéra Garnier—a perfect location to wander in the streets and feel like a Parisian. Visits of sites and monuments combine with activities that locals enjoy. And you can count on delicious foods, bien sûr!
Groton's Global Education Opportunity (GEO) to France occurs every other year, alternating with the GEO to Italy.
In Greece, students explore a land and people famous for their rich history, culture, and mythology, whose brilliant ideas and profound contributions across a wide range of human achievement have inspired the hearts and minds of countless people through the ages.
Students experience Greece, the birthplace of democracy, drama, and the Olympics. They visit the palace from which, it is said, Daedalus and Icarus made their fateful flight. They gaze upon the golden mask of King Agamemnon, walk through the Lion Gate, survey ancient Mycenae, and feel the effect of Apollo’s inspiration at Delphi. Students walk in the footsteps of Solon, Socrates, Pericles, and Sophocles, discovering Greece, the consummate inventor of heroes (not to mention, gyros). It is an unforgettable adventure.
In Italy, students come into close contact with some of the most famous and beloved attractions of the ancient Roman world—Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, Capri, Cumae, the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, the Capitoline Museum and Campidoglio, the Campus Martius (Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Theater of Pompey, Largo Argentina), San Clemente, the Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla, the Appian Way, Horace’s Villa, Villa Borghese, Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Populo, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum, and other places of historic and cultural significance.
The tour aims to transcend the ordinary Roman sightseeing routine by integrating a focused yet light curriculum of relevant history and literature, enriching and contextualizing each experience. Excursions include an informative lecture and discussion, coupled with readings tailored to each site. Students also have time to discover the beauty and vibrancy of notable Roman neighborhoods before gathering each evening for family-style dinners. The focus is on the ancient Roman world, but lectures, conversations, and perambulations afford the opportunity to survey the legacy of this marvelous culture and appreciate the innumerable charms and fascinations of modern Rome. The trip is open to all Groton students, not just those currently studying Latin.
A Groton Classics GEO happens every other year, alternating with the GEO to France.
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Groton’s tradition of international music travel began in 2005, when the school’s jazz ensemble, Soul Sauce, took a musical tour to Japan. Since then, destinations have included Switzerland (Orchestra), Brazil/Argentina (Choir), Australia (Jazz Ensemble), China (Orchestra), Italy/Switzerland (Jazz Ensemble), South Africa (Orchestra), the United Kingdom (Choir), Cuba (Jazz Ensemble), Prague/Vienna/Budapest (Orchestra), China (jazz ensemble), and Spain (Orchestra).
Groton's musical Global Education Opportunities (GEOs) have provided students with the chance to perform in prestigious venues, attend master classes, perform service, and experience cultural exchanges and exposure to non-Western music.
Student musicians have played at nursing homes in Hiroshima for survivors of the atomic blast and in remote villages of rural China, where the chamber orchestra truly recognized music as a universal language. In South Africa, Groton musicians performed six times in twelve days, watched a rehearsal of the Cape Town Philharmonic, learned to play djembe, and practiced dance steps with Drum Café of Cape Town. Groton musicians have jammed with jazz artists in Cuba, and choir members have sung with choral counterparts in South America.
The destination and invited musical group for Groton’s musical GEOs change yearly.
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Groton occasionally offers international experiences for sports teams. Recent trips have taken the boys soccer team to the United Kingdom and boys and girls squash teams to South Africa. Sports GEOs focus on both cultural enrichment and athletic competition. Groton students work with and learn from the children in beautiful Cabarete, where they also learn Spanish, teach English, play music with locals, and sometimes engage in experimental engineering projects. A new and evolving program, Groton’s GEO in the Dominican Republic houses Groton students together during the week and sends them to home stays for the weekends. Participants need not speak Spanish or study it; in fact, this GEO in the Dominican Republic is a good way to pick up Spanish outside a classroom environment.