Carlsbad’s Pacific Ridge School.

Raising children who are globally aware and engaged is more important than ever, and Carlsbad’s Pacific Ridge School is leading the way in global education.

In May and June, 500 students at the private school traveled to locations around the world for cultural immersion, study and service. The annual travel program is a highlight for students and caps off academic study or service work conducted throughout the year.

Included in this year’s trips was the culmination of several years of dedicated work and fundraising by students featured in our April issue. In March, students in the A Million Knots service learning group held a fashion show fundraiser that collected $10,000 for a girls’ school in rural India they founded several years ago. In June, the students traveled to India to talk with NGOs about girls’ education and to visit the school they support.

Another group of students traveled to Greece, where they interviewed aid agencies, authors and Greek citizens to learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis and the current state of Greece’s economy. The students then created film documentaries to help raise awareness in the local community.

Other trips for 7th through 12th graders included Austin, Texas; Australia; Big Bear Lake; China; Costa Rica; Cuba; Hong Kong; Morocco; Taiwan; Thailand; Washington, DC; California’s Northern Sierras; and the Grand Canyon for Wilderness First Responder certification. Trips are led by Pacific Ridge faculty and educational travel organizations.

According to Director of Global Programs Justin Symington, Pacific Ridge’s travel program encourages students to think deeply about global engagement. “Learning about global issues in the classroom is one thing, but traveling to a place and seeing how things are ‘on the ground’ changes the way students learn and act,” he shared with Giving Back Magazine.

“When our students return from travel, they have truly grown. They see themselves and the world differently.”