Global Opportunities - Upper School - McDonogh School

Global Opportunities

McDonogh offers a variety of global travel opportunities. Upper School students may apply to participate in two-to-three week exchanges and language or cultural immersion trips to France, Spain, Italy, China, Peru, and Japan.

French Exchange

The French exchange occurs every two years with Sainte Catherine School in Aix-en-Provence, located in the South of France. Students live with host families for a week and a half, attending school and touring the area. Students experience the many historical, cultural, and natural sites the area has to offer, including but not limited to Roman aqueducts and colosseums, natural preserves, museums, cities, and important landmarks. They also spend several days in Paris seeing the sites, sampling the cuisine, and soaking up the culture. In turn, French students visit Baltimore for two weeks in the spring.

Spanish Exchange

The Spanish exchange with Colegio San Agustin in Valladolid, Spain, occurs every two years. Students spend two and a half weeks living with host families, attending the last days of school before Spanish summer vacation and touring surrounding cities such as Segovia and Salamanca. Students also spend several days in Madrid exploring the city and visiting famous sites like the Prado, the royal castle, and others. San Agustin students visit McDonogh for two weeks in September.

Chinese Exchange

The Chinese exchange occurs every two years with Xinhua School. Students live with a host family in Tianjin, China, and also tour cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Suzhou. They visit sites such as Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall and experience Chinese culture by learning Tai Chi and practicing Chinese cooking techniques. Xinhua students visit McDonogh in January during the Chinese New Year.

Japanese Exchange

Upper School students travel to Japan every two years as part of McDonogh’s longest-running exchange (29 years) with Seijo-Gakuen High School. The students live with a host family and attend classes. They immerse themselves in Japanese culture by participating in tea ceremonies, learning calligraphy, and preparing Japanese cuisine. Students explore Tokyo with their host families and travel to Kyoto or Nara with the host school. Seijo-Gakuen students and teachers visit McDonogh for two weeks in the spring.

Travel Study in Peru

Upper School students travel to Peru every two years. Students live with a host family for a week while attending intensive Spanish classes in the city of Cusco. The students then visit ancient sites such as Macchu Pichu and the Sacred Valley. They also experience the splendor of nature in Peru. Students also engage in community service initiatives during their stay in Peru.

Choir Concert Trip

McDonogh's Concert Choir offers members the opportunity to experience a professional international tour where they perform and learn a new culture. The trip is offered every two or three years during the summer. Recent Concert Choir members have performed in Great Britain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Canada, Poland, Croatia, Russia, Spain, France, and Peru. The most recent trip, in 2017, took the choir to Sicily.


The Bell’Italia cultural tour of Italy occurs every two years during spring break. Stops include Venice, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri. Students visit the iconic sites of the ancient Roman civilization, see great works of Renaissance art, and, of course, enjoy the cuisine.