An Independent Day School for Grades 6-12

Seeking Growth Challenges Through Language

All 8th graders participate in a week-long study trip with a language focus. Students studying French go to Quebec, those studying Spanish visit Costa Rica, and students studying Mandarin travel to Shanghai [due to Covid-19, the spring 2020 trip traveled to Iceland]. In addition to language immersion, 8th graders may engage in service projects and cultural art activities, participate in historical inquiries, and make friends with locals.

Costa Rica



Spanish Language Study Trip
8th-grade Spanish students at Crystal embark on an adventure to Costa Rica, one of the most naturally beautiful and diverse countries in the world. They zip line through Monteverde rainforest and fill up on hot Gallo Pinto, Costa Rica's traditional rice-and-beans dish. They taste fresh-brewed Arabica coffee on an organic farm with wild toucans and sloths in the trees above. They learn how to hand-make empanadas and squeeze juice from raw sugarcane. At a rural elementary school, students put their Spanish skills to the test as they make new local friends and exchange cultural song and dance. There are few places in the world as culturally and biologically rich as Costa Rica to immerse oneself in Spanish.

Read this blog from the 2020 trip.
French Language Study Trip
French students travel to the Canadian province for Quebec where they not only speak French and immerse themselves in French Canadian culture, but they also learn about the history of the province while getting to play in the snow! In their travels between Quebec City and Montreal, students will find themselves between their comfort zones and growing zones. While using their French language skills, students put their best foot forward learning to snowshoe, practice their balance at the circus, steer dogsleds through the forest, experience zero gravity at the Cosmodome, cook a meal in a French kitchen, walk through longhouses in the Huron-Wendat village, and so much more.

Read this blog from the 2020 trip.

Chinese Language Study Trip
The inaugural group of middle school Mandarin language students traveled to Iceland. Their experiences included hiking on glaciers, snorkeling between tectonic plates, touring a geothermal power plant, and witnessing the incredible geology and scenery that Iceland is known for. In addition to outdoor adventures, students spent time at a small, rural local middle school learning more about the everyday life of teenagers from a different culture and language. The students also visited with Chinese immigrants to learn more about the Chinese diaspora. Throughout their time, our students practiced their Chinese skills on a daily basis and chronicled their experiences by making videos and keeping journals.

Read this blog from the 2020 trip.
Nondiscriminatory Policy: Crystal Springs Uplands School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.