Each quarter, students embark on one of four Aventuras with therapists, Experiential Education mentors, and teachers joining them to make each experience truly integrated. Aventuras are some of the most effective components of the New Summit Academy program for encouraging student growth, community building, and for creating unforgettable memories. This round of Aventuras was a success in all areas. Here are some highlights as recounted by students and staff!
NSA is unique in its ability to combine Spanish language learning opportunities with an enriching and supportive Cultural Immersion program. Daisy and Vianney, our dedicated and passionate Spanish teachers and Cultural Immersion coordinators, have built a Spanish language program which meets grammatical learning objectives by preparing students with the vocabulary and background knowledge to participate in Immersion activities.
Our Experiential Education department mentors then engage our students in Immersion activities that serve both as a culmination of their weekly studies as well as one-of-a-kind cultural learning experiences.
Check out some of our recent Cultural Immersion activities!
Our Peru trip culminated in a journey to the sacred Incan site of Machu Picchu. Early in the morning, students boarded a train which snaked its way along the Urubamba River to the town of Aguascalientes, where we hopped on buses for the winding road to Machu Picchu. We spent the day learning about the history and architecture of this bucket-list wonder of the world and UNESCO heritage site, before returning to the Sacred Valley. On our final day, the owner of our guiding company, Piero, and his family welcomed us into their home for a celebratory barbeque!
Thanks to students, staff, families, and the wonderful guides at Terra Explorer for helping to make this year’s International Aventura to Peru such an amazing experience!
After three days of intensive workshops in preparation for Peru, our community braved a red-eye flight to arrive at over 11,000 feet in Cusco - the ancient capital of the Incan Empire - to get physically and mentally acclimatized for the adventures to come. Our first days included an historical tour of the city, a mountain-bike ride through the stunning landscape surrounding the Sacred Valley, and a day of community service with the Amaru people.
This indigenous village welcomed us into their homes with music and smiles, explained their way of life revolving around farming and weaving of textiles, and worked side-by-side with our students as we tilled the soil using traditional tools in preparation for planting potatoes. The Amaru then prepared a hearty lunch of quinoa, potatoes and guinea pig – a traditional delicacy in Peru.
New Summit Academy’s Aventura program is a one-of-a-kind series of integrated challenges in the wilderness of Costa Rica where students have an opportunity to, not only progress in Personal Growth, Academic and Experiential Education, but to reflect on their growth so far.
The final Aventura – climbing Cerro Chirripo (the highest peak in Costa Rica), serves as the ultimate opportunity to reflect, and to ponder the future. Transition students who have met all program requirements are approved by their Transition Team to take on the mountain, climbing alongside their peers in a culminating celebration of their growth and of their futures filled with success.
Congratulations to our June graduates, who will be summiting Chirripo this week. As we say to our graduates “When you reach the summit, keep climbing!”
Students arriving at NSA for the first time have a great deal to process: new peers, new teachers, new rules and expectations – even a new country. In order to provide the most support possible during transition into the New Summit Academy community, our Orientation program guides each student as he immerses into a new, exciting experience.
Orientation begins with meeting a mentor: a senior student who serves as a “go-to” person for any questions or needs. That mentor accompanies his mentee on a weekend-long Orientation Aventura, where peers and staff introduce new students to the NSA handbook, explain how the program functions, and answer any questions that arrive. Upon returning to campus, new students complete a series of meetings, steps, readings and more in order to quickly and comfortably become part of our community -- ready to set goals to continue on the path to success.
Throughout each student’s stay at New Summit Academy, the Integrated Aventuras serve as a means to connect with therapists, Experiential Education mentors, and teachers while working on personal growth goals, and enjoying total immersion in the natural wonders of Costa Rica. Students recently returned from three different Aventuras, and have brought their stories back to campus with them.
Students took to the trails of Corcovado National Park ready to explore the most biologically intense place on earth. The group's student documentarian recorded footage for a short film, while other students took turns in the role of Student Naturalist, spotting and identifying Baird's tapirs, anteaters, and caimans in the wild.
Biologists from the University of Costa Rica shared the results of a ten-year study about the diverse species of fungi endemic to the park, enhancing class discussions about the symbiotic relationships of rainforest organisms.
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!