Semester Term 3
March 17–May 5
Hit the ground running as you explore the most exciting locations in Europe, while earning high school credits on location. Watch history come alive as you embark on an adventure of a lifetime, travelling through Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Avignon, Paris, the Swiss Alps, Munich, Venice and Tuscany.
|Three Course Program
Active Living Leadership
English—choice of 3 options
9:1 Student to Staff Ratio
Students complete two mandatory courses and choose one elective.
|World History Since the 15th Century|
|This course traces major developments and events in world history since approximately 1450. Students will explore social, economic, and political changes, the historical roots of contemporary issues, and the role of conflict and cooperation in global interrelationships. They will extend their ability to apply the concepts of historical thinking and the historical inquiry process, including the interpretation and analysis of evidence, as they investigate key issues and ideas and assess societal progress or decline in world history.|
|Recreation + Healthy Active Living Leadership|
|SECOND COURSE OPTION 1|
|This course is dedicated to exploring the benefits of lifelong participation in active recreation and healthy leisure and to develop the leadership and coordinating skills needed to plan, organize, and safely implement recreational events and other activities related to healthy, active living. Students will also learn how to promote the benefits of healthy, active living to others through mentoring and assisting them in making informed decisions that enhance their well-being. The course will help to prepare students for university programs in physical education and health and kinesiology, and for college and university programs in recreation and leisure management, fitness and health promotion, and fitness leadership. Participation and development are the basis and most important components of this course.|
|SECOND COURSE OPTION 2|
|This course explores the influence of human dimensions in a variety of applications. Students examine the historical and environmental contexts that define the relationship between humanity and its environment. The course framework relies heavily on hands-on activities and exercises utilizing the human form in context, and case study applications designed to enhance practical and critical analysis.|
|This course explores the fundamental elements of storytelling in photography and filmmaking, from narrative structure, genre, and character, to cinematic elements and visual composition. Students engage in hands-on digital media production as they learn how to work in a variety of roles. From producing, directing, writing, and editing, all dimensions of the dynamic and collaborative media production industry are examined.|
|11+12||ENG3U + ENG4U|
|The core English course focuses on the refinement of literacy, communication and analytical skills. Students build on their understanding of academic language and practice using it confidently in discussion and argumentation both in oral and written forms.|
|Studies in Literature|
|This course is intended for students who are passionate about literature. Students analyze a range of literary forms including drama, the novel, and poetry, responding personally, critically, and creatively to each.|
|This course is designed for students who have attained a high level of proficiency in their writing skills and wish to focus on cultivating their creative writing talents by participating in prose, poetry, and drama-writing master classes.|
Preparation and Coursework
Days 1–10In order to ease into the program, students have access to the course website, where reading lists will be posted. Course preparation is spread out over four weeks: our first two-week preparation session begins in early May, focusing on novel studies; the second two-week session begins in late June, focusing on completing small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates and help complete short tasks to alleviate the workload during the summer. Students are required to complete all pre-departure work prior to departure to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.
Departure from Toronto
Day 11–12Our expedition to Europe begins in Toronto, where teachers and students get to know each other and settle into the rhythm of the program. Here, we conduct activities and complete foundational course material before setting off for Lisbon.
Days 12–17From Toronto, we travel across the Pacific to the west coast of Europe, where seven picture-perfect hills cradle the city of Lisbon, nestled on the Tagus River. There, students focus on academic writing and the development of a compelling thesis, before taking the opportunity to wander down through Alfama’s steep hills that have retained much of the city’s old world charm. Along the coast, students take advantage of the city’s relaxed pace to explore off the beaten path and discover some of the city’s unique gothic architecture. In the early evenings, students delve into creative writing over dinners of famous Portuguese bacalhau, by analyzing famous works, and even trying their hand at their own original pieces.
Days 17–21Next, we travel to Madrid, where lovers of food and art alike instantly fall in love with this enchanting city. Whether wandering its elegant boulevards, exploring its world-famous museums filled with priceless European art, or admiring the orange glow of the city as the sun sets, this Spanish metropolis captures the imagination. An afternoon at the Prado allows the class to examine works by Picasso and Velazquez, as they collaborate in small groups to present their learnings followed by class discussions. In the evenings, students analyze literature over tapas dinners and take part in the relaxed, social atmosphere of Spanish culture.
Days 21–26From Madrid, students travel to the bustling Catalonian capital of Barcelona, on the Mediterranean coast. There, days are filled with exploration in the Gothic Quarter, along the Ramblas, and at La Sagrada Familia, while evenings are spent sampling local gazpacho and paella in one of the city’s open-air cafes. From visits to the Cathedral de la Seu and Placa de Catalunya, to picnics and presentations in Gaudi’s Garden in the Park Güell, students immerse themselves in their coursework against the backdrop of one of Europe’s most beloved cities.
From Barcelona, students make their way to one of the most storied cities in the world—Paris. In the ‘City of Light,’ we consider the influence of French art, literature, history, and philosophy on the English language and culture. Morning note exercises at the Luxembourg Gardens are followed by lectures at some of the city’s most important sites: Napoleon’s Tomb, the Tuileries, and the Pantheon. While exploring the romantic cobblestone streets of St. Germain, picnicking in the gardens of Versailles, and examining some of the most famous art in the world at the Musee D’Orsay and the Musee du Louvre, students take in all that Paris has to offer.
Departing Paris, students travel east, settling in Strasbourg—a UNESCO World Heritage city on the border of France and Germany. A climb up the Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, which has survived plagues, revolutions, and two world wars, highlights this Alsatian stop on our program, as students dive deeply into academics, focusing on the use of critical lenses in literary analysis and the conditions that allowed for the outbreak of the First World War.
From Strasbourg, students escape the hustle and bustle of city living and travel up to the remote and beautiful Swiss village of Lauterbrunnen, nestled in an Alpine valley. There, the academic focus shifts to the period between the world wars, incorporating themes of diplomacy and international relations. Daily hikes into the snow-capped Alps provide a body and mind balance for students eager to get out and explore. Campfires in the evenings offer time for the group to relax and unwind together, as they prepare for their final cumulative assignments and exams.
Days 44–49From the tranquillity of the mountains, students make their way into Germany for the final leg of their journey. Settling in Munich, students examine the rise of Nazi Germany, and trace the impact of the National Socialist movement across the European continent, as well as the in rest of the world. From Hitler’s speeches at Odeonsplatz to the horrific legacy of the Dachau Concentration Camp, lectures and master classes focus on digging deep to uncover the tragic complexities of modern Europe’s most infamous period.
Days 49–54Few cities hold as much allure, or mystery, as Venice, making it an essential stop on this grand journey. Once the crossroads between east and west, this favourite city of writers and playwrights serves as an inspirational location for students to complete coursework as they delve into final projects and essays. The charming beauty of Venice’s Byzantine and Moorish architecture sits astride our stop on the Lido, Venice’s beach island, providing peace and quiet for students to finish final lectures and assignments without the fast pace of a city. The group spends their evenings over dinners of fresh seafood and pasta, reflecting on the personal growth and triumphs of the long term behind them.
Days 54–60After all of the hard work and many, many kilometres of exploring Europe, our final destination is a reward in itself: the beautiful Tuscan villa of Borgo San Luigi. Located halfway between Siena and Florence in the heart of Italy’s most famous region, this quintessential retreat offers sunbaked stone buildings and the quite reprieve necessary to focus on final exams. Whether it is taking a short break in the pool, or sitting by the giant fireplace with a hot chocolate and laptops in hand, Borgo San Luigi offers students everything they need to prepare for the end of their term abroad. On their final evening overseas, students celebrate and prepare for their trip home over an exceptional dinner of the best Tuscan cuisine with lifelong friends.
Departure from Tuscany Day 60
|Program Fee Includes||Program Fee Does Not Include|
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.
|Program Fee Includes|
|Program Fee Does Not Include|
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.