Summer 2024 Programs

SDC International: Cultural exploration in Albania, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain

Student Diplomacy Experimental College (SDXCO): A liberal arts micro-college in Alaska and Massachusetts exploring social justice, equity and inclusion through disciplines in STEM, social sciences, humanities and the arts

Note: SDC will continue to evaluate the public health landscape and modify programs as needed to best ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and hosts. As such, all programs, venues and descriptions are subject to change.

SDC International

Practice language skills with a Mexican artist, make pasta with Italian students at a cooking school in Piemonte, become an amateur anthropologist immersed in the unique history and culture of the Spanish Basque country. Experience the power of art, architecture and agriculture while learning how geography impacts the cultures of the world.  Build friendships with 10-12 peers from across America and explore your new summer home with local experts, chefs, farmers, artists, activists and musicians.  SDC International’s 3-5-week programs will challenge your sense of adventure, help you build new skills and expand your vision of global citizenship.


Where the Eagles Soar – Anthropology & Human Geography in the Balkans Fly like the mighty Albanian eagle from Adriatic fishing villages to Byzantine towns in Greece and Macedonia. Become an early explorer of Eastern Europe’s last emergent democracy, an unspoiled frontier. Hike pristine alpine passages in the “Accursed Mountains.” Walk in the footsteps of the Illyrians, Venetians and Ottomans through forgotten archeological ruins to discover how ancient civilizations inform the art and architecture of this tiny Balkan wonderland. Embrace modern secular Albania, a rapidly developing country where Islam and Christianity coexist, Mercedes share the road with donkey carts and expressions of cultural diversity transcend national borders. Connect deeply with the citizens of a mystical land described both in the poetry of Virgil and the award winning novels of Ismail Kadare.
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: Seattle International Airport


How to Get to Haida Gwaii: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Indigenous Cultures  Across the globe, scientists are embracing the knowledge of indigenous people to develop a deeper understanding of our natural world and ways to protect and sustain our fragile ecosystems. Explore the connection between indigenous knowledge, forestry and sustainability in the temperate forests of coastal British Columbia. Hike, climb, and forest bathe in provincial parks as you connect deeply with the natural world. Travel to the Haida Gwaii islands to learn more about indigenous cultures, arts and traditions. During an exciting month with our neighbor to the north, you and your group will experience some of the world’s most pristine natural ecosystems.
Dates: 4 weeks, early July 2024 – early August 2024
Begins/Ends: Vancouver International Airport

Where Glaciers Meet the Sea: Outdoor Adventure in British Columbia. After meeting your group in Seattle, drive across the border to cosmopolitan Vancouver. Explore British Columbia’s capital city before heading north up the coast. Work with outdoor educators to explore the temperate rainforests of coastal British Columbia. Take a wilderness CPR and First Aid course and get certified. Hike, climb, and forest bathe in provincial parks near Squamish as you connect deeply with the natural world. Hike up the Stawamus Chief, enjoy a multi-day bush hiking and camping trip near Whistler and feast your eyes on some of the world’s most beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains and forests. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of British Columbia during an exciting month with our neighbor to the north.
Dates: 3 weeks, late June 2024 – mid July 2024
Begins/Ends: Vancouver International Airport


Les Plus Beaux Villages de France: Architecture, Geography, Art, Cuisine and Culture in La France Profonde. France celebrates the magnificence and beauty of rural life from Alsace to Provence, from Brittany to the Pyrenees.  Unlock the secrets of “the hexagon’s” most beautiful and culturally rich regions. Bake a kugelhopf for breakfast, have a flamekueche, a flambeed pizza, for lunch and leave room for choucroute garnie at dinner. Stroll past half timber houses and bike through vineyards. Don’t ask whether you’re in La France or Deutschland, you’re exploring Alsace.  In Provence and the Var, walk through Roman ruins and visit ancient towns built into the sides of mountains.  Hear the sounds of the Basque language in farms under the shadows of the Pyrenees or sample black wheat galettes in fishing villages along coastal Brittany. Learn about the modern challenges that facing traditional rural life in France.  Impressionist artists, Michelin starred chefs, farmers and travelers have been inspired by La Vieille France, you will share their wonder.
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: New York’s JFK International Airport


Slow Food, Rich Culture – Fast food has not replaced pasta, parmesan cheese and prosciutto ham at the center of the Italian diet. Industrial agriculture has not replaced the family farm. And local specialties that celebrate the bounty of the land and sea remain central to la dolce vita. The Slow Food movement, born in rural Italy celebrates the link between food, culture and biodiversity. This summer, slow down, savor your food, learn from organic farmers, and work with skilled chefs as you experience the rich Italian culture and learn to cook slow food across Liguria, Piemonte and Umbria.
Dates: 5 weeks, late June 2024 – early August 2024
Begins/Ends: New York’s JFK International Airport

The Venetian Empire: Beyond Carnivals and Canals – The first time you stand in St. Mark’s square and traverse the bridges that criss-cross busy canals, you immediately understand the relationship between Venetians and the sea. This love affair with the water will take you on a journey of the Venetian Doges and Dukes who created the empire that built the jewel of the Adriatic. This summer, learn about boat making, discover the secrets of building a floating city atop a marshy lagoon, and consider how a city state became a major maritime and commercial powerhouse during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Then, like Venetian explorers throughout time, look beyond Italy’s borders toward the sea to embark on a journey through coastal villages and towns from Slovenia to Croatia and see for yourself the incredible influence of La Dominanteon her Adriatic neighbors.
Dates: 3 weeks, late June 2024 – mid July 2024
Begins/Ends: New York’s JFK International Airport

Mare Splendente: From Sea to Shining Sea – Endless shades of blue, winding roads along breathtaking coastal vistas and ancient cities await on a journey from “toe to heel” across southern Italy. After two days in Rome exploring the Vatican, Colosseum and Piazza Navona, venture south to Naples. Live like a local in the Rione Sanità neighborhood while making your own Neapolitan pizza, working with Italian students on an art & design project and tasting delicious Sfogilatelle. Then visit the ruins of Pompeii and relax on the beaches of the Amalfi Coast before heading to Matera, celebrated as a center of European art and culture, in the Basilicata region. Learn about the great 20th century Italian physician, author and poet Carlo Levi and his fight against fascism, hike in a national park and visit an Albanian village. Travel to the Adriatic coast and explore the white villages of Puglia, visit the region’s iconic trulli hobbit houses and cook ear-shaped Orecchiette pasta with an Italian grandmother. In Calabria, sail to the Ionian islands with a group of students before venturing north to spend a your last few days in Lazio on the outskirts of Rome.
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: New York’s JFK International Airport


Drums for Peace – For a thousand years, Taiko has been the voice and spirit of Japan.  Its rhythms reflect the sounds of nature and amplify the Shinto belief in the power of the natural world.  This summer, awaken to the beating heart of Japan during hours-long sessions with Kodo Taiko masters on windswept Sado Island. Explore the intrinsic connection between geography, food, music and craft of the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido.  Cycle or hike from urban Sapporo to the rural countryside and bathe in the energy of the great forests of Japan’s northernmost prefecture. Visit ramen noodle restaurants and arcades to practice new language skills with local college students.  From mountain peaks that have challenged Olympic skiers to fishing villages and rice farms that feed Japan, you will feel the spirit, creativity and nexus between Japanese identity, geography, nature and the arts as you make Hokkaido home.
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: Los Angeles International Airport


Mayan Treasures of the Yucatán – Mayan culture is alive and well in the Yucatán.  From activists working to promote Mayan languages to craft collectives recreating ancient art forms to chefs expressing local bounty on a plate, you will be immersed in the Mayan world of the Yucatán peninsula.  Embark on a modern-day treasure hunt to uncover hidden ruins in dense jungles, study famous pyramids and photograph thousand-year-old artifacts. Marvel at the crystal blue cenotes and make regional handicrafts. Dance to folk rhythms and cook cochinita pibil in underground barbeque pits. Finish your stay in magical Mérida to explore Mexico’s colonial history, it’s tragic impact on indigenous communities and influence on modern Mexico.
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: Miami International Airport

The Whale and The Boojum Tree: Marine Biology and Desert Ecology on the Baja Peninsula – Embark on a thousand-mile ecological and cultural adventure through beautiful desert landscapes and pristine beach towns along the crystal blue coasts of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Dubbed the world’s aquarium by Jacques Cousteau, the Sea of Cortez is home to giant manta rays, humpback whales, and fully 1/3 of all aquatic mammal species in the world.
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: San Diego International Airport


The Importance of Being Basque – Travel back in time to a land of rolling green hills, rich local culture and people who have a deep respect for the nature that nourishes their lives and livelihoods. Amidst the peaks of the Pyrenees straddling France and Spain, the Basque people fiercely preserve their linguistic, artistic, economic and cultural heritage. From alpine hamlets to fishing villages, from modern art and green design, Basque culture expresses an unmistakable connection to place and tradition, while building a thriving economic future. Living, working and learning with Basque communities, celebrate the hidden beauty of this ancient culture. This summer, put on a traditional Basque beret, lace up a pair of comfortable walking shoes and discover the importance of being Basque.
Dates: 3 weeks, late June 2024 – mid July 2024
Begins/Ends: New York’s JFK International Airport

Instituto Ibérico – At the intersection of scholarship and adventure, you’ll find your place at the Instituto.  Take a 3-college credit course taught entirely in Spanish by professors in Spain. Designed for native speakers and high-level learners, courses combine classroom learning and immersive field-based study across the Iberian Peninsula in venues like Madrid, Toledo, Valencia, the Basque Region, Catalonia and Andalucía.  Courses include: Las Tres Culturas & Picasso y Flamenco
Dates: 4 weeks, late June 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: New York’s JFK International Airport


Alaska – Biogeography, Oceanography and Indigenous Culture in the Great North – In Alaska, America’s ‘last frontier,’ students will live on the campus of the University of Alaska Southeast and learn local indigenous languages and cultures. Through visits to indigenous and settler communities and seminars with local professors students will learn how the first people of Alaska lived, hunted, fished and built a thriving culture of art music and dance. After learning to see Alaska as the first people saw it, students will embark on a journey of discovery and academic inquiry during a field biology seminar conducted by local professors and climate scientists. From measuring and cataloging salmon hatches to hiking through the forests to where the glaciers meet the sea, students will learn how biologists and ecologists are using the scientific method to track the impact of settlement, population growth, and climate change in the great north. Visits to remote indigenous villages deepen understanding of local culture, history and contemporary challenges. Whales, salmon, Orca and towering trees will populate the outdoor classroom in the Chilkat Valley and on the Inian Islands as students learn to thrive in new surroundings and build skills for the future as leaders in communities.
Dates: 4 weeks, early July 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: Seattle International Airport

Student Diplomacy Experimental College (SDXCO)

College starts now.  This summer earn three college credits while experiencing the academy at beautiful college campuses in the United States and abroad. Become part of a community of SDXCO scholars nominated by high schools and youth serving organizations from communities across the nation.  Explore the nexus between sports and civil rights with an author and historian, build creative writing skills while exploring eco-poetry and the voices of poets from Micronesia, understand the connections between economics and climate justice or learn about the biology of ecosystems in the classroom and in the field.  When you are not in the classroom, experience life on and off campus, participate in sports, art and extracurricular activities. SDXCO will help you prepare for college by building the skills and confidence to thrive as an undergraduate.
Dates: 4 weeks, early July 2024 – late July 2024
Begins/Ends: North Adams, MA

2024 courses may include:


  • Biogeography: Ecosystems, the Science & Art of Observation
  • Mathematics, Social Justice and Equity
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge in the Pacific Northwest


  • Radical Lessons of Decolonial Hip-Hop
  • History of Sports and Civil Rights
  • Introduction to Race and Ethnic Politics: Race and the American Political System
  • Public Health: A Social Work Analysis of Health Care in Underserved Communities


  • Asian American Literature: Immigrant Stories
  • Pacific Voices: Eco-Poetry from Micronesia
  • Literature of the African Diaspora


  • Creative Writing: Poetry, Memoir and Spoken Word
  • Ceramics: Art, Craft and Culture
  • Music: Songs of Protest and Liberation

Want to join The Corps?  Your adventure begins here.

Application Instructions: You must be nominated by an SDC partner school or mentoring organization.  Once nominated, you will be asked to complete a written application that parallels a college application and participate in an interview with SDC staff.  Applications are typically due in late February through mid-March with interviews and decisions in late March and April.  Contact your nominating school or organization for more detail about application process and deadlines.

Please contact us at or 888-551-0218 if you have any questions.