Now is one of the most exciting times to visit China – never since the country opened up to the United States in 1972 has China been more on the minds and in the news of US Americans. As more secondary school students go abroad before entering college, students with the opportunity to visit this country as young as high school have an advantage many students do not. One such organization to offer these kinds of high school programs abroad in China is Putney Student Travel (PST), whose Excel China program in Beijing takes high school students abroad each summer. As with all students who go abroad, students need to have curricular programming in place to ensure they make the most of their experience, and are able to transition back to their home country with minimal distress.

Through analysis of major works pertaining to the needs of US high school students, experiential learning and program design, as well as interviews with PST management, this program and its curriculum seek to fully realize the Putney philosophy of experiential learning, to provide intentional programming guidelines for staff members to create an environment that orients students to a new culture and prepares them to take real learning home with them.


International and Comparative Education