McDonogh offers a variety of international programs. Upper School students participate in two-to-three week exchanges and immersion trips to France, Spain, China, Peru, and Japan.
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. They visit cities such as Marseilles, Avignon, and Arles. They also spend several days in Paris seeing the sights, sampling the cuisine, and soaking up the culture. In turn, French students visit Baltimore for two weeks in the spring.
The Spanish exchange with Colegio San Augustin 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 Augustin students visit McDonogh for two weeks in September.
The Chinese exchange occurs every two years with Xinhua School, the alma mater of Upper School Chinese teacher Jenny Li. Students live with a host family in Tianjin, China and also tour cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Souzhou. 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.
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. Following this, they visit ancient sites such as Macchu Pichu and the Sacred Valley. They also experience the splendor of nature in Peru, spending time in the rain forest and on the beaches. Students also engage in community service initiativess during their stay in Peru.
Upper School students may also take bi-annual trips to Japan, an opportunity which was first offered 28 years ago. The students live with a host family and attend classes at Seijo-Gakuen High School. 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 Seijo students and teachers.
McDonogh's Concert Choir offers an experience unlike any other. Choir members travel abroad where they tour, 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 2015, took the choir across Portugal and northern Spain.