Semester Term 3
Mid February–Late March
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 and Prague.
|Two Course Program
World History or
English—choice of 3 options
9:1 Student to Staff Ratio
*Based on air fares, land tariffs and currency exchange rates as of February, 2018. Please note the possibility of increases in airfares and land costs prior to departure. Any increase must be borne by the individual participant.
Students are required to complete the mandatory course (one of two options) and may 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.
|Philosophy: Questions and Theories|
|This course enables students to acquire an understanding of the nature of philosophy and philosophical reasoning skills and to develop and apply their knowledge and skills while exploring specialized branches of philosophy (the course will cover at least three of the following branches: metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science, social and political philosophy, aesthetics). Students will develop critical thinking and philosophical reasoning skills as they formulate and evaluate arguments related to a variety of philosophical questions and theories. They will also develop research and inquiry skills related to the study and practice of philosophy.|
|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
In 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
Our 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.
From 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.
Next, 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.
From 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.
Departing Spain, students travel north into France, settling in Avignon, the charming heart of Provence. There, students learn about the city’s former position as the heart of the Roman Catholic world. Though it only remained the papal seat for a handful of decades, students uncover remnants of its legacy scattered across the city, most notably at the Palais des Papes, one of the most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe.
From Provence, 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.
From Paris, students escape the hustle and bustle of the city 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.
From 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.
As it sheds the remains of its communist past while attempting to embrace its capitalist future, the bold and emerging city of Prague serves as an ideal setting for students to complete their final essay pieces, concluding their term abroad. The old world charm of this enchanting city makes it the perfect destination to write exams and then say farewell to their adventurous and ambitious trek through Europe’s past. On their final evening abroad, students celebrate and prepare for their trip home over a dinner of local schnitzel and fresh fruit dumplings.
Departure from Prague Day 50
|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.