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Why Take This Program?

From the shores of Lisbon where Vasco da Gama explored potential trade routes, to the streets of Berlin and the memories of a world divided, our students are challenged to see the connections in today's world, and how we can learn from the past in order to lead in the future.  In the fall semester, you study the ideas of Voltaire, Rousseau, Darwin and Nietzsche and the motives of Machiavelli, Marx, Stalin, and Mao. As you travel and uncover the inner layers of each culture, you are left with a lasting impression of our modern collective consciousness. Along the way, you will enjoy delicious cuisine while getting into the best shape of your life! Our journey takes us through Western Europe, with each destination acting as a perfect backdrop to dive deeply into the reasons we act, govern, and live in today's world. The past shapes who we are, and this semester opens student's eyes by seeing famous works of art in the Louvre, climbing the peaks of the Swiss Alps, and visiting Dachau Concentration Camp to push students physically and emotionally to their limits. The fall semester is one to behold, and we will come home with a greater appreciation of where we come from and why we are who we are.

high school study abroad

Dates

Travel Dates

Mid September–Late November, 2024

Program Dates*

Late August–Early December, 2024

*Program dates include online sessions to prepare students prior to travel and synchronous interviews to complete final assessments after travel. Dates are subject to change.

Courses Offered

english Mandatory (choose one)

  • 11 English 11 ENG3U
  • 12 English 12 ENG4U
  • AP AP English Language and Composition (Prep Course) AP-ELAC

phys-ed

  • 12 Recreation and Healthy Active Living Leadership PLF4M

social-science Choose One

  • 12 World History Since the 15th Century / World History Modern CHY4U
  • AP AP European History (Prep Course) AP-EH

Contact us for course equivalencies in your school board.

Staffing

9:1 Student to Staff Ratio.

Departure City

All MEI programs depart from Toronto's Pearson Int'l Airport.

Program Fee

Program Cost *
$16,197.00
Travel Cost
$10,798.00
Total
$26,995.00 USD

Foreign Student Fee

Waived for 2024
$3,000 USD

Refunds + Cancellations

Availability

Open
Find out more!
Attend an Info Meeting

Program Videos

Program Itinerary

Explore this program's detailed itinerary for a sense of the journey ahead!

Online Foundation Work

Program Preparation

Pre-departure Work Being prepared for your academic adventure is critical to a successful MEI summer. On March 1st, we begin our educational journey by posting reading lists for each course on your program site. Having a reading list allows students to access novels, short stories, and textbooks in plenty of time to get acquainted with the course material. Online Pre-departure Sessions Before departure, you will have online sessions with your teachers and classmates. These online sessions introduce you to your classmates, teachers, and coursework. We aim to prepare you to hit the ground running and reduce your workload onsite. Each course has approximately ten hours of class preparation time; this schedule will be posted on your course site.
students at Mei Academy

Departure

Day 1: On the day of departure, we meet at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Here, we unite as a group to distribute coursepacks, T-shirts and MEI Journals. After a meet and greet, we board a flight to our first location.
Toronto skyline

Rome

Day 2–10: Students begin their journey of Western civilization in the ‘Eternal City’. With visits to the Colosseum and the ruins of the Forum, we wander through time and discuss the foundations of the West in the streets of the most excellent open-air museum—Rome. We will witness the physical and literal layers of Rome's history intermixed with high fashion, luxury cars, and an unparalleled passion for soccer! Whether writing morning notes on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica, performing Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in the Roman Forum, or sampling the world's best gelato at the Trevi Fountain — in Rome — students witness the ghosts of history come alive.
students at Mei Academy

Roccamare

Day 10–15: After a fast-paced introduction to the MEI ethos, we relax and reflect on the white-sand beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast.
students at Mei Academy

Florence

Day 15–20: Our third stop is the ‘Home of the Renaissance’. Names such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Medici, and some of the world’s most beautiful architecture, Florence is the perfect place to see what an explosion of thought, art, and culture can bring to a city, and indeed, the West. While interspersing our days with visits to the Uffizi, Il Duomo, and the Accademia—home to Michelangelo’s David—students are captivated by some of the most vibrant markets, and some of the most beautiful architecture, in Europe. It is no wonder this city has been the favourite of artists, writers, and popes for centuries — it is the perfect place to investigate the Renaissance
students at Mei Academy

Borgo

Day 20–25: Our next 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 quiet reprieve after Florence. Students are energized and recharge for their long journey ahead over an exceptional dinner of the best Tuscan cuisine with all of the newfound friends.

Barcelona

Day 25–30: Barcelona has been an inspiration for writers and artists for over two thousand years with its vibrant colours, unmatched architecture, and Catalan cuisine. Students practice their hand at character development along Las Ramblas, poetry in Gaudi’s Park Güell, and travel writing in La Sagrada Familia, all between lunches along the Mediterranean and dinners in the Gothic quarter. If we’re lucky, we may even catch a glimpse of the world’s most famous soccer team.
students at Mei Academy

Madrid

Day 30–35: We continue our journey into Spain and land in 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.
global high school

Lisbon

Day 35–41: We continue our adventure with a stay in Portugal’s illustrious capital — Lisbon. Whether climbing one of Lisbon’s seven hills or listening to a performance of Portugal’s famed Fado music, students naturally connect and are inspired by this ancient port city. Our classes vary between exploring hidden gems and nurturing creative pieces to be performed in small cafés of the Alfama.
high school study abroad

Paris

Day 41–50: After crossing the Pyrenees, we arrive in France. In Paris, the city of lights, lessons focus on the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution as we debate the nature of humanity and the structure of civilization. In the crypt of the Pantheon, we revisit the arguments put forth by Rousseau and Voltaire that laid the foundation for the French Revolution and the rise of Maximilien de Robespierre. At his tomb, we discuss ‘The Little Corporal’ himself, Napoleon Bonaparte, and his domination of Europe. From bike rides in the gardens of Versailles to visits to the Musée du Louvre, our visit to Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into French history and culture.
high school study abroad

Heidelberg

Day 50–53: The next three days of the program are spent in the picturesque city of Heidelberg. It is here where we will take a day trip up to Heidelberg Castle and learn about the history before engaging in a frisbee tournament, followed by the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, a series of 1,200 stone stairs await us as we go up to see a panoramic view of Heidelberg and all its glory. This is a wonderful town to connect as a class, complete a book chat in a charming little cafe, and get ourselves ready for the rest of our journey ahead.
high school study abroad

Swiss Alps

Day 53–58: Making our way to the top of Europe, students emerge from the Stechelberg gondola to find their new home in the picture-postcard Swiss village of Gimmelwald. Here, we hike mountains and roast marshmallows by the fireside—with the clamour of giant cowbells, bleating mountain goats, and the sound of rushing waterfalls all around. Academically, students work on essay writing, namely developing a complex argument, for English and receive one-on-one mentorship while enjoying morning coffee overlooking the Alps. We also seek to understand the consequences of Industrialization and how the stage was set for the Great War. With a full-day Hike in the Alps and lots of rest time, Switzerland offers the perfect experience before we continue our adventure to Germany.
high school study abroad

Munich

Day 58–64: In Munich, we introduce you to the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the WWII holocaust novel Night by Eli Wiesel. These authors help us connect to the universal literary themes of salvation and survival and Munich is filled with cultural traditions revealed in their writings. From St. Michael's Church to the English Gardens, from Hitler's speeches at Odeonsplatz to the horrific legacy of the Dachau Concentration Camp, students will be exposed to how literature brings the past alive. With each poem, story, and song, you will have a deeper connection to what makes Munich a fitting place to end our literary journey. As a reprieve, we'll pack picnic lunches and visit Lake Starnberg to get a dose of nature and Bavarian-lake serenity. Our adventurous summer ends with one last dinner at the legendary Hofbräuhaus where we reminisce on all that we have experienced.
high school study abroad

Berlin

Day 64–70: Our final stop brings us to Berlin, the ideal location to dig deeper into the Cold War. This city, once divided in two, served as a microcosm for the post-war world at large. Dotted with reminders of its past, students will visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and the Berlin Wall Memorial to get a deeper understanding of the divide felt in this city. Now, the capital city of the most powerful country in Europe, Berlin has shed the remains of its communist past as it attempts to embrace its capitalist future. With its cafe culture and vibrant spirit, Berlin is the ideal city for students to complete their assignments and prepare for final exams. One last dinner together and a stroll through the Tiergarten gives us the chance to admire the Brandenburg Gate while sharing a fond farewell with our new family and reflect on all we have experienced on this adventurous and ambitious trek through Europe. Departure from Berlin Airport on Day 70
high school study abroad

Online Final Evaluation Week

Online Post-trip SessionsUpon your return, you will have time to complete additional research and your Independent Study Unit (ISU) presentation. This time allows you to reflect on and integrate your travel experiences into the course material. The MEI staff have found this evaluation style enjoyable and the most authentic way for students to demonstrate their knowledge and academic skills. After your ISU, you will complete your course exams online. Once your marks have been reviewed, MEI Academy will send your report card and transcript to your home school to add to your academic records.

students at Mei Academy

Program Map

Rome

Day 2–10:

Students begin their journey of Western civilization in the ‘Eternal City’. With visits to the Colosseum and the ruins of the Forum, we wander through time and discuss the foundations of the West in the streets of the most excellent open-air museum—Rome. We will witness the physical and literal layers of Rome’s history intermixed with high fashion, luxury cars, and an unparalleled passion for soccer! Whether writing morning notes on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, performing Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in the Roman Forum, or sampling the world’s best gelato at the Trevi Fountain — in Rome — students witness the ghosts of history come alive.

Roccamare

Day 10–15:

After a fast-paced introduction to the MEI ethos, we relax and reflect on the white-sand beaches of the Tyrrhenian coast.

Florence

Day 15–20:

Our third stop is the ‘Home of the Renaissance’. Names such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Medici, and some of the world’s most beautiful architecture, Florence is the perfect place to see what an explosion of thought, art, and culture can bring to a city, and indeed, the West. While interspersing our days with visits to the Uffizi, Il Duomo, and the Accademia—home to Michelangelo’s David—students are captivated by some of the most vibrant markets, and some of the most beautiful architecture, in Europe. It is no wonder this city has been the favourite of artists, writers, and popes for centuries — it is the perfect place to investigate the Renaissance

Borgo

Day 20–25:

Our next 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 quiet reprieve after Florence. Students are energized and recharge for their long journey ahead over an exceptional dinner of the best Tuscan cuisine with all of the newfound friends.

Barcelona

Day 25–30:

Barcelona has been an inspiration for writers and artists for over two thousand years with its vibrant colours, unmatched architecture, and Catalan cuisine. Students practice their hand at character development along Las Ramblas, poetry in Gaudi’s Park Güell, and travel writing in La Sagrada Familia, all between lunches along the Mediterranean and dinners in the Gothic quarter. If we’re lucky, we may even catch a glimpse of the world’s most famous soccer team.

Madrid

Day 30–35:

We continue our journey into Spain and land in 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.

Lisbon

Day 35–41:

We continue our adventure with a stay in Portugal’s illustrious capital — Lisbon. Whether climbing one of Lisbon’s seven hills or listening to a performance of Portugal’s famed Fado music, students naturally connect and are inspired by this ancient port city. Our classes vary between exploring hidden gems and nurturing creative pieces to be performed in small cafés of the Alfama.

Paris

Day 41–50:

After crossing the Pyrenees, we arrive in France. In Paris, the city of lights, lessons focus on the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution as we debate the nature of humanity and the structure of civilization. In the crypt of the Pantheon, we revisit the arguments put forth by Rousseau and Voltaire that laid the foundation for the French Revolution and the rise of Maximilien de Robespierre. At his tomb, we discuss ‘The Little Corporal’ himself, Napoleon Bonaparte, and his domination of Europe. From bike rides in the gardens of Versailles to visits to the Musée du Louvre, our visit to Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into French history and culture.

Heidelberg

Day 50–53:

The next three days of the program are spent in the picturesque city of Heidelberg. It is here where we will take a day trip up to Heidelberg Castle and learn about the history before engaging in a frisbee tournament, followed by the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, a series of 1,200 stone stairs await us as we go up to see a panoramic view of Heidelberg and all its glory. This is a wonderful town to connect as a class, complete a book chat in a charming little cafe, and get ourselves ready for the rest of our journey ahead.

Swiss Alps

Day 53–58:

Making our way to the top of Europe, students emerge from the Stechelberg gondola to find their new home in the picture-postcard Swiss village of Gimmelwald. Here, we hike mountains and roast marshmallows by the fireside—with the clamour of giant cowbells, bleating mountain goats, and the sound of rushing waterfalls all around. Academically, students work on essay writing, namely developing a complex argument, for English and receive one-on-one mentorship while enjoying morning coffee overlooking the Alps. We also seek to understand the consequences of Industrialization and how the stage was set for the Great War. With a full-day Hike in the Alps and lots of rest time, Switzerland offers the perfect experience before we continue our adventure to Germany.

Munich

Day 58–64:

In Munich, we introduce you to the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the WWII holocaust novel Night by Eli Wiesel. These authors help us connect to the universal literary themes of salvation and survival and Munich is filled with cultural traditions revealed in their writings. From St. Michael’s Church to the English Gardens, from Hitler’s speeches at Odeonsplatz to the horrific legacy of the Dachau Concentration Camp, students will be exposed to how literature brings the past alive. With each poem, story, and song, you will have a deeper connection to what makes Munich a fitting place to end our literary journey. As a reprieve, we’ll pack picnic lunches and visit Lake Starnberg to get a dose of nature and Bavarian-lake serenity. Our adventurous summer ends with one last dinner at the legendary Hofbräuhaus where we reminisce on all that we have experienced.

Berlin

Day 64–70:

Our final stop brings us to Berlin, the ideal location to dig deeper into the Cold War. This city, once divided in two, served as a microcosm for the post-war world at large. Dotted with reminders of its past, students will visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and the Berlin Wall Memorial to get a deeper understanding of the divide felt in this city. Now, the capital city of the most powerful country in Europe, Berlin has shed the remains of its communist past as it attempts to embrace its capitalist future. With its cafe culture and vibrant spirit, Berlin is the ideal city for students to complete their assignments and prepare for final exams. One last dinner together and a stroll through the Tiergarten gives us the chance to admire the Brandenburg Gate while sharing a fond farewell with our new family and reflect on all we have experienced on this adventurous and ambitious trek through Europe.
Departure from Berlin Airport on Day 70

Program Photos

What's Included

Fee Breakdown

Program Cost *
$16,197.00
Travel Cost
$10,798.00
Total
$26,995.00 USD

* Program cost does not include non-refundable $95 registration fee.

** Based on air fares, land tariffs and currency exchange rates as of July, 2023. Please note the possibility of increases in airfares and land costs prior to departure. Any increase must be borne by the individual participant.

Program Costs

  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • MEI T-Shirt
  • Digital yearbook

Travel Costs

  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
  • Return airfare from Toronto's Pearson International Airport
  • Approximate airline departure taxes, surcharges and fees
  • Airfare between countries
  • Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
  • Transportation for all listed program excursions

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Lunches
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities
  • Local Transportation
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection†
  • Non-refundable Registration Fee

† All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical and trip cancellation and interruption Insurance.

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