In the American Southwest, students will delve into the southwest’s natural beauty, the diverse groups and cultures who live there, the stories of the region’s past, and the possibilities for its future. From partnerships with Maricopa Indian Community, the Old Pueblo Archeology Center, the Navajo Nation, Canyon de Chelly, and many more, students will learn about the earliest peoples to settle in this area and how their influences are alive today. You’ll experience traditional arts workshops, native fry bread and baking lessons, and New Mexico’s signature red and green sauces. Students will also look at the more modern gifts of the southwest such as the works of Georgia O’Keeffe and MeowWolf. These contemporary artists are sure to awe as are the many national parks including the Grand Canyon. Students will search for the stars at Kitt Peak National Observatory and experience the calming natural wonders of the Painted Desert. They will discover the southwest’s unique environment and how each new generation is charged with considering how to understand, preserve, and relate to the incomparable elements of the region.
With glorious craggy coastlines and stark contrasts of scenery, California has much to offer. This Winterim academic trip focuses around the culture of California life — art, innovation, and entrepreneurship. California is an incredibly diverse state — culturally, geographically, and environmentally. From Hollywood to Silicon Valley, from the Redwood Forests to the Mojave Desert, few places in the U.S. offer as many opportunities to discover new ideas, landscapes, and ways of living. At the same time, California currently faces a host of challenges that reflect a bigger picture around the world. Students will explore many of these topics including new food and farming movements, the fast-paced and often controversial evolution of technology, cultural shifts in the entertainment industry, urbanization and gentrification, droughts, wildfires, natural resource usage, and much more. From the high desert landscapes and historic Hollywood glory days of Palm Springs, to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, to the multifaceted work of Silicon Valley, to artwork overflowing the Getty Museum, Hearst Castle, and Studio City, California opens up a myriad of possibilities for students to explore your passions, share new experiences, and grow their understanding of these topics on the future of our world.
The beautiful coast of southern Florida and the Florida Keys are full of marine wildlife and gorgeous ocean vistas. On this Winterim academic travel option, students will spend their days exploring and learning about marine coastal ecosystems both in a working scientific research setting and in the outside world. They will spend days kayaking in Biscayne National Park, exploring mangroves, snorkeling around coral reefs (so make sure you’re comfortable and competent in the water), assisting in tagging marine life for research, airboating through the Everglades, observing sea turtle hospital endeavors, traverse beautiful nature preserve gardens, and much more. Students will do all of this while participating in professional research for the preservation of Florida’s precious ecosystem. Along with our environmental discoveries, students will celebrate a bit of the vibrant culture of southern Florida through food, music, and art along the way.
Outward Bound is the premier provider of experiential outdoor education. Harpeth Hall has partnered with Outward Bound to create a custom program for students designed to grow connections, build confidence, release stress, heighten leadership, and reveal their inner strength to support your future life transitions. On this adventure of a lifetime, students will have a safe, inclusive space where they and their teammates can take risks, find their voice, and develop deep connections that are critical for growing confidence. In the stunning beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, students will grow in the aptitudes of courageous conversations, leadership, strength, belonging, and purpose as you learn to function independently and as a team.
Outward Bound uses the ‘challenge by choice’ methodology (this is not boot camp) to help participants become more resilient and compassionate. On this expedition, students will enjoy a rare, up-close journey through the backcountry wilderness and rich ecosystem of one of our nation’s esteemed natural sanctuaries. They will pack their boots, clothing, water bottle, and sunscreen, and Outward Bound will provide the rest (tents/tarps, sleeping bags, mats, backpacks, etc.) Students will be taught everything they need to succeed including how to set up camp, cook, navigate, and more.