Brooklyn private independent school

Global Academic Programs

Berkeley Carroll's travel programs are part of the academic program, not stand-alone sightseeing trips. The kind of authentic global thinking we foster requires students to prepare beforehand and to engage in serious reflection while abroad. Throughout, students consider both their own place in the world, and their responsibilities to its future.

The Upper School offers many travel programs annually. 


This language immersion trip builds upon the academic learning in students' Spanish classes at Berkeley Carroll. Students travel to the beautiful and historical city of Granada, and immerse themselves in the language, culture, history, and environment that represents contemporary Spain. 

This program focuses on language skills and interpersonal communication. Students live with host families and attend language classes at Itaca Centro de Formación, a language school with an emphasis on learning by experience. They spend time with their host families, interact with native speakers during the afternoon cultural visits, and meet local students in Spanish secondary schools. 

Students also learn about the Judeo-Christian and Muslim influence in the region, visiting architectural landmarks such as Granada's famous palace, La Alhambra, and Córdoba’s famous mosque, La Mezquita. They experience important Spanish traditions such as flamenco and tapas, and read excerpts from the works of the Spanish poet and playwright, Federico García Lorca, beloved child of Andalucía. 


This trip to Rome and the Bay of Naples, in partnership with Envoys, provides students with a broader and deeper knowledge of Roman culture through an intensive study of the Latin language, Roman history, and the ancient art and archaeology of the Mediterranean. Central questions are, What was it like to live in an ancient Roman city? and How can learning about the past inform and help us understand our own lives in 2023

Students travel to the Bay of Naples to visit the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE; the modern city of Naples to consider how it compares with the ancient cities and visit the National Archaeological Museum; and Rome, where they visit several ancient sites including the Colosseum, the Forum Romanum, the Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla, and the Pantheon. To enrich their experience they also visit the Capitoline Museums, the Vatican Museums, and the Borghese Gallery and the city to Ostia, the ancient port of Rome.

Latin students help bring the past alive by translating passages from literature as well as the inscriptions, both monumental and personal, that the group encounters on buildings and tombstones. Art and Design History students use their knowledge to enrich the group’s understanding of the art, architecture, and landscape of ancient sites. All participants are immersed in the world of modern Italy, learning basic Italian phrases and how to navigate a different culture while they build community with one another by working and living together. 

South Africa

Ubuntu, a uniquely Black South African term meaning “Humanity” governs the Black South African experience. “I am because we are” informs the history of the fight for freedom in Apartheid South Africa.  A partnership with the Envoys Travel, this trip focuses on reframing South Africa as a nation of blackness and complements BC’s Upper School electives “Apartheid & Jim Crow” and “Africa and the West.” Students focus on the system of Apartheid, resistance to this oppression, legacies of racial oppression, and memorials of remembrance of this history.  A goal of this program is to reclaim engagement with South Africa by focusing on the current work of black South African artists, entrepreneurs, educators, and civil rights leaders.

The program is based out of Johannesburg and Cape Town and designed to match BC’s course curriculum. Activity highlights include the Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela's House. and Tour of Soweto in Johannesburg; a safari at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in the Bojanala Region within the North West Province; and Table Mountain, Cape Point, Boulder's Beach, Robben Island, District Six Museum, and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town.


As an extension of what students are learning in their Spanish and art classes, this language immersion program in Mexico City focuses on the global impact of Mexican culture. Participants study the history of Mexican art, language, and food from pre-Columbian times to today, and discover how contemporary artists and writers honor tradition in their craft. Throughout their stay, they use their Spanish to get around the city and reflect on each day's experience in their journals through writing, drawing, or photography.

Immersed in a rich multicultural environment, students gain firsthand knowledge of the cultural diversity of Mexico while strengthening their Spanish language skills. They learn about the layered history of Mexico from pre-Columbian times, the colonization of the 15th century, and the vibrant modern and contemporary Mexico of today. 

The program schedule includes visits to the Museo Nacional de Antropología, which contains artifacts from Mexico's heritage like the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec calendar stone) and the Aztec Xochipilli statue. Students also visit Museo Tamayo, Museo Anahuacalli, Museo Dolores Olmedo, and Museo Frida Kahlo. Additionally, they embark on excursions across the city’s historic neighborhoods, take a day trip to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, a UNESCO cultural site, ride on Latin America’s longest cable car, seeing beautiful murals along the way, and watch Spanish language films at the famous Cineteca Nacional.


This trip will explore the rich culture and biodiversity of the region as students learn how Panamanians are working to protect and restore rainforests and coastal landscapes. They will also analyze urban centers as they focus on the central question: Can humans coexist sustainably with nature? 

In Panama City, students will hike Parque Natural Metropolitano on their way to the City of Knowledge and the famous canal, where observant students will see diverse species, including titi monkeys, anteaters, and sloths. They will discuss the use of green spaces throughout the city and learn about the impacts of the canal on locals and the surrounding ecosystems. With a focus on reforestation, students will also hike Soberania National Park, meet with local conservation experts, and complete a restoration project with the Rainforest Discovery Center, a premier site for environmental education. 

Other activity highlights include a trip to the Indigenous community of Embera, beach time and snorkeling on Isla Toboga, and a tour of the historic Casca Viejo, where student will walk or bike along the Amador Causeway, all while learning about local history, customs, and ongoing conservation efforts. Students will reflect on the wild and urban landscape around them, and consider, as global citizens, their personal impact on the region and the environment.

American West 

Students travel through the canyons of Southeastern Utah and, in the process, learn to navigate with topographical maps, better understand their own decision-making styles, cook on a WhisperLite stove, and live comfortably outside for an extended period of time. On this trip, a partnership with HMI, students hike by ancestral Puebloan ruins that are situated within a half-mile of a uranium mine as they grapple with the complexities of the western landscape including land designations of National Monuments, the work of the Bureau of Land Management, and the conservation movement. They see the vestiges of old cowboy hide-outs near spring-fed pools, walk by barbed-wire fences illegally set up by cattle ranchers’ legal permits on BLM land, and camp in the shadows of the Bears Ears, the eponymous features of the Bears Ears National Monument.

Students also experience the major tenets of backpacking: community building, engaging mindfully with the geography and human history of a place, and better understanding ourselves through communication and leadership.  While physical ability is important in navigating exposed terrain with everything they’ll need on their back, more important in a backcountry setting is being able to laugh, to help a friend, and to make decisions that align with Berkeley Carroll’s values.

American South

As the site of major moments of resilience and activism, the American South houses a unique history of complexity: immense violence and joyous liberation. This trip involves a journey through key civil rights and Black American landmarks of the South and explores key questions such as: To what extent does the South constitute its own nation? Has the South ever healed from the Civil War? Along the way, students process what they are learning with each other and with southerners they meet in both formal and informal settings, exploring the nation’s history of racism and ongoing environmental issues in this region that target Black and low-income communities.  

Stops include Birmingham, Alabama to visit the 16th Street Baptist Church, meeting place of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and site of the 1963 terrorist bombing that led to the death of four little girls; Montgomery, Alabama to connect with peers at a local independent school and visit the Equal Justice Initiative Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice;  Selma, Alabama, the site of the infamous 1965 civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge; New Orleans, Louisiana to tour and learn about the Whitney Plantation and the French Quarter, boat on the Bayou, hear live jazz at Preservation Hall, and explore the contributions that Black Americans have made to music and southern cuisine and celebrate the cultural ingenuity and diversity of Black Southern culture; Jackson, Mississippi to visit the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Tougaloo College; and Memphis, Tennessee learn about blues music at the Rock N Soul Museum.