Experiential Learning / Study Abroad

PCD students are expected to develop as engaged citizens of the world. As members of an increasingly global community and through their studies across disciplines, students gain a growing awareness of their connections to others. PCD’s study abroad programs provide students with opportunities to strengthen such connections, and each year students are invited to enroll in international programs that emphasize language mastery, cultural awareness, and community service.

Some international programs are available each year, while others vary depending on student and teacher interest.

Annual Study Abroad Programs


Freshmen are invited to travel to Quebec in January with PCD foreign language teacher Sarah Garcia-Mata. The excursion, which takes place during Quebec's annual Carnaval, immerses students in the French province's culture, history, and unique winter activities. Contact Ms. Garcia-Mata for more information.

Costa Rica

This is a surf and yoga instructional program in one of the best surfing locations in the world. The program consists of seven days of surf and yoga instruction in Nosara, Costa Rica. We stay at Casa Tucan in Nosara with twice-daily surf lessons, a daily yoga class, a morning of zip-lining in the rainforest, and a day of community exchange with a local school. Our PCD group rents out the entire inn at Casa Tucan so we have total autonomy over our schedule.

Please contact Jason Roderick for additional information.

Video by Bryce Kerr Abraham '17  

costarica 2016 from Providence Country Day School on Vimeo.

Annual Domestic Programs

Baseball Spring Training

The PCD Knights baseball team participates in an annual spring training trip to Florida during the school's spring break. More than an outstanding athletic preseason camp, the trip is a rare opportunity to be a part of spring training for the majors, gel as a team, and hit the ground running in April. Details for this year's trip are as follows:

Please contact Mark McLaughlin for additional information.

Heifer Lambing Program

Heifer International aims to end hunger and poverty by "equipping people with the tools, education and livestock to bring about positive transformation." PCD girls from the Upper School spend three nights at the Heifer Farm in Rutland, MA to participate in the Heifer Women's Lambing Program. The program is intended to introduce women to farming, paying close attention to issues of sustainability and food supply. More than that, it empowers women by combining discussions, experiential learning activities, and hands-on work with the animals, especially in birthing lambs and goats. Historically, during the several nights of being on call, our PCD group has helped birth many goats and lambs.


Model UN

Model UN is the keynote event for the PCD World Affairs Club—an academic extra-curricular program that focuses on foreign relations, public international law, and the international organizations that are dedicated to promoting global development, conflict resolution, human rights, and sustainability. The Brown University Simulation of the United Nations offers students the opportunity to consider real world events and apply their understanding through the rules of parliamentary procedure and debate. Depending on the interests of the club members year to year, we may also attend smaller one-day model UN conferences, visit the UN headquarters in New York, and/or attend the Harvard and Georgetown Model UN conferences.

Peace Jam

PCD students attend the Northeast Regional PeaceJam Conference in April. They participate in workshops with a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate on a topic of international importance. Past Laureates with whom students have worked include Jodi Williams, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Betty Williams.

Working one-on-one with the honored Laureate, students will present group service project reports, participate in local service projects in the surrounding communities, and attend workshops related to the winner's area of work. Approximately 300 students from all over the Northeast attend the annual conference.

PCD was a founding member of the Northeast Regional PeaceJam Conference in 2005, and students attend the regional conference each year. In addition, they may attend the International Peacejam Youth Conference.

Please contact Nancy Gelardi for additional information.

Chewonki (8th Grade)

At the beginning of each school year, all eighth graders participate in a much-anticipated week-long adventure at the Chewonki Foundation’s facility in Wiscasset, Maine. This outdoor education program combines environmental education, skill building, team building, and fun for a memorable experience that is a benchmark of PCD's Middle School program. Students typically engage in three educational units in the Outdoor Classrooms program. The sustainability unit includes a study of renewable energy, food production at the Chewonki Farm, and a workshop activity devoted to the environmental issues currently facing cites and towns across the United States. The team building unit includes group challenges, a ropes course known as the barn climb, the crossing of a gulch, a rock climb, and a map and compass activity, as well as a canoeing activity if time permits. The final unit on outdoor living skills requires the students to set up their own campsite and prepare meals over a campfire.  Students come home both tired and energized—proud of notable accomplishments and excited by new discoveries.

For additional information on the Chewonki Foundation, please visit its website. Be sure to click on the "Outdoor Classrooms for Schools" tab, and then select the overnight program option.

Close-Up Foundation (Washington, D.C.)

Every other year PCD upper school students have the opportunity to take part in the Close Up Foundation's intensive experience in our nation's capital.

Students join students from all over the United States for five days, getting a hands-on education in how their government works. With an eye toward encouraging engaged political citizenship and a more nuanced and detailed understanding of both the mechanism of government and crucial policy matters, the program balances visits to all the significant D.C. sites with insider views and workshops.

In addition to a visit to the Capitol, meeting congressmen and staffers, a mock Congress, classroom sessions, and guided visits to key landmarks, this program focuses on the president's first weeks in office and the specific demands of the early part of a presidency. Furthermore, we meet students from schools around the country and have the opportunity to share a wide range of perspectives and opinions. Past Close Up participants still credit the other students they met for making the trip so valuable.

Please contact Steve Robinson for additional information.

Other Programs

NH Primaries

Every four years, upper school students have the unique opportunity to see democracy in action—up close, and as an active participant—for three breathless days at the New Hampshire primaries. Students attend town halls and candidate receptions and rallies. Past participants have met candidates, posed questions, and been featured on CNN, WPRI, and in the Providence Journal.

Previous Trips

The range of trips offered each year varies according to student and faculty interest.  PCD students have enjoyed the following travel experiences. 

Belize: ancient ruins and biodiversity
Costa Rica: Tiko Trek
Costa Rica: surf/yoga
Ecuador: exchange at the Shakespeare School in Quito
Ecuador: the Inca Trail, Amazon, Galapagos, and service
France: the art, history, and culture of Paris and Normandy
Italy: art history in Rome, Pompeii, and Florence
Peru: community service
Quebec: cultural and carnival immersion
Spain: history, culture and language

PCD's travel opportunities give students experiences that last much longer than the number of days en route. Whether hiking the Inca trail or exploring the artistic wonders of the Vatican, students broaden their perspectives and come home with a new found cultural literacy and sense of belonging in their global community.