Studies Off-Campus & Abroad
Loomis offers several opportunities for you to study off campus. The programs offer you opportunities to expand your world view, broaden your appreciation for different cultures and surroundings, and immerse yourself in new experiences.
For more information about all studies off campus and abroad, contact Tim Lawrence, Director of Studies, at Tim_Lawrence@loomis.org or Marley Matlack, Christopher H. Lutz Director, Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies, at Marley_Matlack@loomis.org.
Loomis is a long-standing member of the School Year Abroad (SYA) consortium. Founded more than 50 years ago by Andover, Exeter, and St. Paul's, the consortium now includes more than 40 of the top U.S. independent schools with a strong commitment to global education and foreign language instruction. Loomis students may earn a full year of secondary school credit while enrolled at one of the SYA schools in Rennes, France; Zaragoza, Spain; Viterbo, Italy; or Beijing, China.
At all sites the curriculum includes math and English, taught in English by teachers from the sponsoring or associated schools, along with language and electives taught in the native tongue. Students take all SAT, SAT II, and AP exams abroad and are guided through the college application process in close cooperation with Loomis' College Guidance staff. Standards are rigorous, and the program is known and respected throughout the United States.
Students live with native host families chosen by the school for their readiness to integrate an American teenager into their lives. Besides attending school, students take part in community, athletic, cultural, and recreational activities.
The program is open to juniors and seniors, who should apply by January 25 of their sophomore or junior year. The SYA representative on campus coordinates the application process, and the SYA admissions staff, who remain in close contact with the Loomis coordinator, make decisions on acceptance to the program. For further information, students and parents may contact the SYA coordinator.
SYA in France
Students attend classes at the SYA facilities in Rennes, France, from mid-September through the end of May. In addition to English and math classes, which are taught in English, students may study literature, history, art history, contemporary global issues, environmental science, or international relations taught in French by native teachers. The program includes 15 to 19 days of group travel in France during vacation periods. Virtually all students finish the year fully conversational in French and with a great understanding of and appreciation for French culture.
SYA in Spain
Students attend classes at the SYA facilities in Zaragoza, Spain, from mid-September through the end of May. In addition to English and math classes, which are taught in English, students may study literature, history, art history, macro-economics, environmental science, or political science taught in Spanish by native teachers. The program includes 15 to 19 days of group travel in Spain during vacation periods. Virtually all students finish the year fully conversational in Spanish and with a great understanding of and appreciation for Spanish culture.
SYA in Italy
The program in Italy is for students who have an interest in classical culture as well as the culture of modern Italy. The SYA school is located in Viterbo, less than an hour’s drive from Rome. Students study math, English, and Latin with an American teacher from the consortium schools while classes in Italian, classical history, art history, archeology, and Greek (optional) are taught by Italian instructors. At some point during the second half of the year, when student proficiency in Italian warrants it, the history and art history courses are taught in Italian. There are numerous excursions to sites of cultural and historical significance. This program is open to students who are either beginning or continuing their study of Latin.
SYA in China
Students attend classes on the SYA China campus housed at Middle School #2, the secondary school attached to Beijing Normal University. In addition to English, math, and an optional AP Environmental Science course taught in English, students study written Mandarin, Chinese civilization, Chinese painting, and Chinese martial arts taught in Mandarin by native teachers. The program includes significant travel in China, and students take part in visits to cultural and historical sites. Students may apply even if they have not studied Chinese. SYA China has had remarkable success with its intensive Chinese language immersion classes.
Arabic Year at King’s Academy in Jordan offers an intensive one-year or one-term Arabic language study, Middle Eastern cultural immersion, and experiential learning opportunity. Students live at and are part of King’s Academy, an American-style boarding school situated 30 minutes from Jordan’s capital, Amman.
Students take a combination of traditional high school classes and unique Arabic Year courses, a program of study individually shaped for each student depending on the student’s level of Arabic and background in the traditional curriculum. With an emphasis on spoken Arabic and introduction to the essentials of classical Arabic, or continuation of students' Arabic studies begun at Loomis, and an integration of classroom learning with beyond-the-classroom experiences unique to the region, students also experience a curriculum informed by the King’s Academy guiding principles of respect, love of learning, responsibility, an integrated life, and global citizenship.
The secure 140-acre campus has six dormitories, an athletic complex, two academic buildings, a 700-seat auditorium, a 30,000-volume library, a health center, a dining hall, a student union, and a spiritual center. In total, more than 50 members of the King's Academy faculty live on the campus.
A variety of semester-length programs off campus are available to Loomis students. The following are those in which Loomis has engaged as a sending school:
The Mountain School Program of Milton Academy
As a charter school for 30 years, Loomis joined Milton Academy and 17 other independent schools in offering a unique educational experience at The Mountain School in Vershire, Vermont.
The Mountain School is open to juniors and seniors who are interested in combining a rigorous academic curriculum with a living and working environment on a 330-acre farm. Through studies, farm work, and day-to-day life, the program seeks to foster in students a new understanding of people’s relationship to the natural world.
Academic classes include instruction in English, environmental issues, math, French, Spanish, U.S. history, science, and studio art. Outside of the classroom, there are opportunities to learn practical arts and crafts (including woodworking and pottery) and to participate in the performing arts (theater and music). All students participate in farm activities, such as raising animals, planting and harvesting crops, and maintaining the property.
Enrollment is limited to a total of 45 students, who are taught by eight faculty members drawn from Milton Academy and the associated schools. Further information may be obtained from the Loomis Chaffee Academic Office.
The High Mountain Institute
The High Mountain Institute (HMI) is a unique opportunity for juniors and some seniors to spend a semester living, traveling, and studying in the mountains of central Colorado and the canyons of southeastern Utah. Students spend approximately 12 weeks on the Leadville, Colorado, campus and four weeks on three backcountry expeditions.
In essence, the HMI Semester combines some of the best qualities of an academic program at a rigorous boarding school with the adventure of a summer backpacking trip. Students and faculty live and work together closely for the four months of the semester. The same people teach academic classes, lead expeditions, organize activities in the afternoon, lead morning exercises, cook dinner with groups of students, and help maintain the buildings.
All HMI Semester classes are taught at the honors or AP level (Algebra II excepted), and students take a minimum of five courses. Courses that keep students abreast of classes in progress at sending schools include Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus, French, Spanish, and U.S. History (survey and AP). Students also take English, science, and a place-based ethics class. These courses enjoy freedom to explore local and regional studies. Lessons based on the issues that students see and experience each day promote dynamic discussions and problem-solving.
Enrollment is limited to 42 students in each semester. Students need not have any outdoor experience to attend.
Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki
Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki offers juniors the opportunity to live and learn on a 400-acre saltwater peninsula, where they explore rocky intertidal zones, sandy shores, and freshwater streams on the Maine coast. They may snowshoe alongside moose tracks, kayak to Hungry Island, hike the Appalachian Trail, or scale Mt. Katahdin. Students’ eyes are opened to the ecosystems around them as they learn to look differently at every bird or flower, tree or tide pool, and discover in the process that everything is connected.
At the heart of Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki is a challenging academic program for students who share the goal of exploring the natural world through rigorous courses in natural science, environmental issues, literature and writing, art, history, mathematics, and languages. Classes are small — averaging fewer than eight students each — and take place around tables or outside. In addition to their studies, students work on an organic farm, in a woodlot, and on maintenance and construction projects on campus. These real-world and hands-on experiences complement the traditional components of every class.
Enrollment is limited to 40 students, who are taught by 12 faculty members in residence.
The School for Ethics and Global Leadership
The mission of The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) is to provide intellectually motivated high school juniors who represent the diversity of the United States with the best possible opportunity to shape themselves into ethical leaders who create positive change in our world.
Students can choose to spend a semester at SEGL in either Washington, DC or Johannesburg, South Africa. In DC, our residence is on Capitol Hill, just steps from the Supreme Court and Senate Office Buildings. Our academic building shares a block with top think tanks like AEI and Brookings, as well as several different embassies. Given our location, SEGL in DC has a political/policy focus. In Johannesburg, SEGL is partnered with African Leadership Academy, the premier ethical leadership school for students from across the African continent. SEGL students live and learn alongside emerging leaders from across Africa in a curriculum with a particular focus on entrepreneurship. In each program, 24 students from across the U.S. come together for a rigorous academic program focused on ethical thinking skills, leadership development, and international studies. Case studies, guest speakers, and site visits are central to the curriculum and vary based on location.
An extension of School Year Abroad, SYA Summer offers five-week summer programs for high school students in China, France, Italy, and Spain.
SYA Italy’s summer program has an added global studies component. Students take introductory, practical, conversational Italian classes and participate in seminars, taught in English, that focus on a different global issue each week.
King's Academy Summer Program
The three-week Arabic Summer at King’s Academy in Jordan caters to different levels of backgrounds and abilities in the Arabic language. Specific focus is directed at teaching functional Arabic and skills essential for reading, writing and holding conversations.
Students spend five hours each day in a combination of academic class work and cultural activities. There are separate classes for heritage and non-heritage speakers.The program also includes afternoon activities, evening study hall, and meals.
The Global Scholars Program at the African Leadership Academy is an intensive, 19-day, summer youth camp for a select group of secondary school students from across the world. Built around ALA’s unique entrepreneurial leadership and African studies curriculum, the program prepares future leaders to explore their potential to create widespread change in Africa and throughout the world. Participants practice leadership by working in social ventures in the Johannesburg community, learn from “fireside chats” with prominent entrepreneurial leaders in South Africa, build a global network with other young leaders from around the world, and discover the history, beauty, and diversity of Africa.