Off Campus

Knights worldwide: spring edition

Each March, Upper School students can travel the globe on trips related to certain academic subjects and areas of interest. This year, the school will host five: a science trip to Thailand, an Arabic and photography trip to Morocco, an AP Art History trip to Venice, a Latin trip to Rome, and a Vanguard trip to New York City.


New York City:

On March 14, the rising leadership of this paper and Faculty Advisor Allison Kornet will depart for New York City, where the Columbia Scholastic Press Association will host its annual student journalism convention. The three-day conference invites high school editors from around the globe to participate in hundreds of hour-long workshops and seminars scheduled simultaneously all over Columbia’s campus. 

“I really look forward to working closely with the team and discussing our vision for the future of the paper,” off-campus editor and rising editor-in-chief Benjamin Gross-Loh ’19 said. “I think the workshops will be very informative and help us hone our journalism skills.”

The editors will also attend a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café and see Waitress, Sarah Bareilles’ award-winning Broadway musical, before returning home on March 16—the day the school breaks for vacation, due to a calendar anomaly this year.



Twenty-two students will fly over 8,000 miles to Chiang Mai, Thailand, on March 16, where they will remain for nine days. Led by Science Teachers Melissa Courtemanche and Jake Nagy, the students will work with local farmers to study agriculture and visit an elephant conservation to observe how doctors treat and heal elephants. The group will also visit the city of Chiang Rai, experience Thai cuisine, and learn about Buddhism, Thailand’s most popular religion, before returning home on March 25.

“I’m most excited about the experience of traveling to Asia,” Aidan Klein ’19 said. “I’ve never been, but I’m looking forward to visiting such a cool place.”



On March 17, 14 students will travel to Morocco with Arabic Teacher Amani Abu Shakra and History Teacher Kyle Boyd. The group will tour Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech, seeing landmarks like the Hassan Tower—a mosque—and Ben Youssef Madrasa, a college in Marrakech. The group will also visit the High Atlas Mountains in central Morocco. During the trip, language students will practice Arabic and student photographers will capture the country’s architecture and food.

Ms. Abu Shakra, who has never visited the country before, said she is eager to learn more about its past. 

“Morocco is a beautiful country, rich with history that has been touched by many civilizations, yet at the same time maintained a unique culture,” she said. The group will return on March 24.



Traveling to Italy during spring break are 10 Latin students led by Latin Teachers Walter Young and Althea Cranston. This group will visit Rome and Southern Italy, where they will tour museums, landmarks like the Colosseum, and cities like Pompeii. 

Dr. Young said he hopes the trip will enhance the students’ comprehension and appreciation for the ancient language and history.

“Students will experience a tangible record of antiquity through [Rome and Southern Italy’s] architectural and artistic treasures—treasures which, after centuries and unto this hour, shape the mind and imagination,” he said.



For the sixth consecutive year, English Teacher Rob Leith will bring his AP Art History class abroad during spring break, this time flying to Venice, Italy. The group of seven will study Early Byzantine, Renaissance, and Baroque art and monuments during their trip, and they will stop in other Italian cities like Ravenna, Padua, and Vicenza as well. Mr. Leith said he has deliberately de-emphasized museum visits on this trip since they can be “exhausting and boring,” he said. Instead, the class will see more architecture, like the Church of San Vitale, Giotto’s Arena Chapel, and several Baroque-style buildings by Andrea Palladio.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some of the pieces we studied in class in person,” Athena Chu’18 said. “It’s a great opportunity to really see what we’ve learned in its place of origin, not in a museum or in a textbook, but where it was meant to be.”

The class will leave on March 16 and return on March 25.

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