Learning Adventures

ESA Abroad

Katie Osborne, '19, ExLabs
The ESA Abroad program gives sophomores, juniors and seniors the chance to immerse themselves in the art, history, language, culture and cuisine of a foreign country. After spending one week in the classroom at ESA learning everything they can about their chosen destination, students and teachers venture out armed with sketchbooks, maps, cameras and a sense of adventure.

ESA Abroad's Mission

ESA Abroad is place-based, interdisciplinary, experiential learning through cultural immersion. We combine traditional classroom learning with immersion in the art, history, literature, and philosophy of the chosen period and location. The program seeks to create self-confident, lifelong learners who gain perspective from travel and study abroad and incorporate that understanding in their pursuit of excellence.


List of 4 items.

  • Berlin

    ESA Abroad made Berlin its home in 2015, as students and teachers studied art, architecture, philosophy, history and economics. Read about their adventures on their blog at
    As a culmination of their study abroad course, students created self-published books (using to portray one aspect of their travels. The books included explorations of everything from architecture to abstract/experimental image-making, portraiture, graffiti art, and video stills. They are currently on display in the ESA library.

    The Berlin program began in Louisiana with a week of intensive study to prepare students to take advantage of the opportunities they would encounter in their temporary new home. After an intense few days of studying the history, philosophy and art of the interwar period and World War II, students created their own art on six panels using spray paint and acrylic paint. At the end of the week, the group traveled to Germany, where they settled into the apartments that would serve as their homes for the next two weeks.
    "My experience and connection with the works I saw changed my perspective on the way I view process and product. Being in Berlin, submerged in the culture and being taught by people whose strengths are art, history, and philosophy helped shape my perspective as a scholar and as a human being... Berlin has opened my eyes to perspectives that I'm incredibly thankful for. This process has been the most relevant and exciting time of my life so far."
    - Claire Pham, '16
    Between the art museums and historical sites, students experienced Berlin and the surrounding areas. Students shopped, cooked and planned the weekends' activities, which included dining at local restaurants, biking through the city and, for the cross country runners in the group, keeping up with practices. 
    - Maya Loney, '16
    "As a student, it was fun to get the opportunity to choose a destination and get us to where we were going, and being responsible for navigation helped us to get a better feel of the city and its transportation system. We learned how to buy our own subway tickets, as well as how to read the subway/train map and find which routes we needed to take and at which stations we needed to transfer to get to our destination."
    - Landon Lingle, '16
    "The best way to learn what a culture is like is to surround yourself with it. It was difficult for me to adapt to the urban society at first, but after about the first hour it started to feel like I was being taken in by the society."
  • Camino de Santiago

    In 2019, ESA Abroad undertook a 100 kilometer pilgrimage from Ferrol to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The two week-long trip had both academic and physical components. Students examined Galician history, the route and pilgrimage of St. James, architecture from the Spanish Armada, Moorish conquest of Hispania, and Celtic invasion as they walked the last 100 kilometers of the Camino Inglés route, officially completing a pilgrimage.

    "With our fair share of blisters and pain, we trekked our last miles and made it. Our Camino was amazing and these students made it more meaningful and memorable than I ever could have imagined."
    - Missy Gates, English teacher and trip chaperone

  • Florence

    "Anyone can visit a foreign city, not everyone can live in a foreign city as a local, getting a true, immersed experience." 
    - Carter Broussard, '15
    In 2014, ESA Abroad took 13 students and three teachers to Florence, Italy, where they lived in apartments, shopped for and cooked their own meals, and charted their own course through the city and surrounding areas. 

    Along with finding the best paninis they'd ever eaten, the travelers compared da Vinci's Annunciation to Botticelli's painting by the same name, celebrated a local holiday with the locals and sketched the art and architecture of Florence. Mallory Gaspard, '15, and visual arts teacher Elise Sonnier enjoyed a private tour of the Vasari Corridor, home of the greatest collection of self-portraits in the world. 
    "In a different country, there's no routine or familiar place you can slip back into if you feel off for a moment, so you're always moving forward and looking for comfort in new things. Then you start to grow into the city."  
    - Jillian Chen, '15
    "It's about taking the art, history and philosophy, and forming a personal connection with it, and using that connection to refine and strengthen who you are as an individual... I developed the patience and skills to absorb and appreciate my surroundings and my world."  
    - Mallory Gaspard, '15
  • Galapagos Islands

    In partnership with Ecology Project International, ESA students and teachers assisted researchers in hands-on field work, restoring habitat, eradicating invasive species and monitoring the Galapagos’ famous giant tortoises. View the video above of the expedition created by Katie Osborne, '19, as part of the ExLabs creative communications class. 

Episcopal School of Acadiana

Episcopal School of Acadiana is a private coeducational day school for students in grades PK3 through 12. Our mission is to instill in every student the habits of scholarship and honor.

Episcopal School of Acadiana (Lafayette Campus)

Episcopal School of Acadiana (Cade Campus)

ESA does not discriminate on the basis of physical disability, race, religion, gender, or national or ethnic origin.
Privacy Policy