Learning in the World

Learning beyond the walls of University School is an integral part of the curriculum. Few experiences can better stretch and challenge our students to understand themselves and their world than to become immersed in different cultures. Our program offers an array of carefully chosen experiences of varying length and purpose. The goals are to
  • Develop greater cultural intelligence and positive attitudes in students to help them become global citizens,
  • Give each boy the confidence to be in charge of his own journey,
  • Stretch students beyond their immediate horizons,
  • Connect students with the world so they can contribute to developing regions through study, service, and learning.
The experiences boys have while living in or traveling to new and unfamiliar environments test them and offer them opportunities to learn and grow. Many boys return home eager to share their experiences and new perspectives from interacting with others from around the world. 

The most important qualities boys can take with them are their willingness to experience new things, to be open and accepting of new people and customs, and to be uncomfortable at times because of different social situations or physical demands. The boys who do best on these adventures make an effort to connect with the people and their cultures.

Participation in international programs is competitive. Financial aid is available.

Travel Programs

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  • Quebec, Canada

    Students will expand their knowledge of a Francophone region and its culture by spending the evening through breakfast with host families. During the day, they will travel as a group to explore Quebec and participate in many activities.
  • Costa Rica

    Perfect for Spanish students of all abilities, this program will allow you to learn Spanish from native speakers in a small group. Practice Spanish with fellow students and live with a welcoming host family that will introduce you to the warm Tico culture. Outside of the classroom, participate in some of the heart-pounding adventure activities that make Costa Rica famous, including zip lining, hiking, and kayaking. Also, you will be working with locals in community projects to enrich your cultural understanding by connecting you through service.
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  • Great Lakes Sail Adventure

    The Great Lakes Sailing Adventure introduces students to the “golden age of sail” by immersing them in a sailing experience aboard the U.S. Brig Niagara, a US Coast Guard certified ship. The ship is a replica of one used during the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
  • India

    Incredible India! 
A cradle of human culture -
    Discover India while exploring colonialism, religion, equality, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
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  • China

    University School will host a 17-day trip to China. This travel program explores numerous scenic spots in Beijing, Xi'an and Yunnan province of China. Students will delve into authentic cultural activities and have the opportunity to get to know the local traditions.
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Recent Travel Programs

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  • Discover China 2018

    June - July 2018
    This fabulous two-week program explored different regions of China and delved into Chinese culture.
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  • Great Lakes Sailing Adventure

    Niagara Sailing Training
    June 2018
    The Great Lakes Sailing Adventure introduces students to the “golden age of sail” by immersing them in a sailing experience aboard the U.S. Brig Niagara, a US Coast Guard certified ship. The ship is a replica of one used during the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
    Read More
  • Senegal: 10 days of discovery in West Africa

    July 2018
    This tour was designed to stimulate students and to jump-start their lives as young adults. Our goal is to give students first-hand insight into the complex issues that plague the human family. The big topics are obvious: race, racism & poverty. What is less obvious are the impacts of gender, religion, history (colonialism) climate, geography, and ecology on the equality of human beings and on our culture - and it’s by immersing ourselves in Senegal that we will explore these topics.
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Senegal, West Africa 2018

Program Director

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  • Photo of Nicole Lawrence

    Ms. Nicole Lawrence 


School Partner Programs

US partners with many other schools, both nationally and internationally, allowing our students to spend a semester or a year embracing new cultures, skills, and ideas. These programs enhance our students’ leadership capacities, foreign language abilities, affinity with the outdoors, and more. Read more about the programs below.

National Programs

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International Programs

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Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES Junior K-8
Phone: 216-321-8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, Ohio 44022
Phone: 216-831-2200
University School serves 870 boys in Junior Kindergarten to grade 12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence. University School is a diverse and inclusive community where each boy is known and loved.