Carmel Valley resident Sanjai Subramanian and Cardiff resident Annika Oeth are two of the 600 Pacific Ridge School students and staff who spent the past few weeks experiencing academic, service, and cultural experiences abroad.
During the school’s year-end global travel period, students in grades 7-10 travel to Big Bear (seventh grade), Washington D.C. (eighth grade), China (ninth grade) and the Northern Sierras (10th grade). Juniors and seniors have the option of choosing from numerous school-designed trips or designing their own year-end trips or internships.
Subramanian traveled to Chile with 23 Pacific Ridge students. The group spent their days exploring the country’s dramatic countryside and their evenings focused on astronomy in the southern hemisphere. While at the Cerro Tololo Observatory in La Sirena, students heard from Nobel-prize winning researchers about the acceleration of the universe. Fueled by authentic Patagonian cuisine and hospitality, the students spent their days hiking in the Andes foothills, touring the Humboldt National Penguin Reserve, running in the sand dunes of Valle de La Muerte and visiting the breathtaking scenery of the Lagunas Altiplánicas.
Across the globe Cardiff resident Annika Oeth traveled to Costa Rica for service work and cultural immersion. While there, she and 17 other students lived in homestays in the village of Monteverde. The group worked with The Cloud Forest School to plant sod and trees, to paint the school and to install a concrete staircase.
When the group wasn’t doing service, they managed to take in Costa Rica’s many sights and activities, including a visit to the Monteverde Butterfly Gardens, dance lessons and hiking, where they observed toucans, sloths, armadillos and the local coati. They also had plenty of time to soak up the Pura Vida lifestyle from the welcoming host families.
Subramanian and Oeth weren’t the only local residents to take part in Pacific Ridge School’s global travel program. On trips to more than 14 destinations worldwide, students learned about the history of apartheid in South Africa, business entrepreneurship in Austin, Texas, and culture and religion in Singapore and Malaysia. Ninth graders visited Beijing and Shanghai and taught English to students in rural Chinese villages.