Belmont Hill promotes inquisitive and responsible global citizenship. The Global Experiences program supports this mission via a robust travel program, intercultural exchanges with schools in Spain and South Africa, diverse domestic and international semester- and year-away programs, and our annual speaker series.
Each year, Belmont Hill faculty plan and lead students on a variety of domestic and international trips that reflect our teachers’ and students’ wide-ranging interests.
In addition to annual language and culture trips (Chinese, French and Spanish-speaking countries) and the Kenney Legacy Trip, we offer trips that engage students in community service, ancient and contemporary history, and culture, marine biology, music, and sport.
Within the last few years, Belmont Hill has offered trips to the following destinations:
- Montgomery, AL
- Australia and New Zealand
- Beaufort, SC
- California - Sierras Hiking Trip
- Costa Rica (Soccer)
- Tampa, FL
- Deland, FL (Crew)
- Kenney Legacy Trip (London, Belgium, Normandy)
Nearly every year, a handful of Belmont Hill students elect to spend a summer, semester or full-year off-campus exploring new cultures, disciplines, or social environments.
Belmont Hill supports these ventures in a variety of ways. We offer several on-campus opportunities for students to learn about study away programs, through assemblies with program staff as well as from Belmont Hill students who have returned from spending time off-campus. Departing students work closely with their advisors, division heads, and Dean of Studies to craft their schedules and prepare for a seamless academic transition back to Belmont Hill. The College Guidance office provides protocols to ensure that time away from campus enhances students’ college prospects.
The following study away programs are supported by Belmont Hill.
year indicates most recent Belmont Hill participant
SCHOOL YEAR ABROAD SYA offers semester & year-long programs in France, Italy, & Spain. SYA guides students through a challenging curriculum focused on developing skills for successful engagement in an increasingly interdependent world. Central to the SYA experience is the adventure of understanding different languages, cultures and peoples.
Swiss Semester is a coeducational program of academic, personal, and physical challenge for roughly forty high school sophomores in Zermatt, Switzerland. (newly added program)
Semester Schools Network Programs
ALZAR SCHOOL Idaho & Chile (Idaho only during COVID) - emphasis on experiential learning, leadership development, and eco/cultural awareness-building. 2021
MAINE COAST SEMESTER: CHEWONKI is a semester-long academically rigorous residential program in Wiscasset, ME, serving high school juniors. Learning takes place in classrooms, in the field, on the coast, at the farm, in the forest, and on extended wilderness trips.
MOUNTAIN SCHOOL of Milton Academy is a semester school and working farm for academically motivated high school juniors in rural Vermont.
THE OXBOW SCHOOL is a semester art and academically focused school for high school juniors, seniors, and gap-year students in beautiful Napa, CA.
SEGL - the School for Ethics & Global Leadership is a semester-long residential program that focuses on ethical thinking skills, leadership development, and international affairs in Washington, DC or Johannesburg, South Africa. 2022
Former Program Participation
CITYTerm - New York City, NY (program closed Summer 2020)
In recent years, Belmont Hill students have participated in the following summer programs:
LITA - Spain
Arabic Summer Academy - Charlestown, MA
The School for Ethics and Global Leadership - London, England
National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI - Y) - Xian, China & Kirov, Russia
School Year Abroad - Beijing, China
International School-to-School Exchange
Nearly every year, Belmont Hill welcomes exchange students from fellow boys’ schools in Spain, South Africa, and Australia. We have longstanding partnerships with Colegio de Fomento Montearagón (Zaragoza, Spain) and Bishops Diocesan College (Cape Town, South Africa), as well as a more recent, student-initiated partnership with Shore School (Sydney, Australia). Every year boys from these schools jump at the opportunity to experience life on our American campus.
While reciprocal exchange is encouraged, students who wish to host, but have conflicts preventing summer travel, may also participate. That said, Belmont Hill boys who have gone on exchange have loved the experience.
The Montearagón, Bishops, and Shore exchanges typically occur in the late fall (students arrive at the end of October and return just after Thanksgiving). Montearagón students usually stay with Belmont Hill boys who are studying Spanish. Bishops and Shore are English-language schools so students at all grade levels are invited to host.
ASSIST scholars typically live with 2-3 families over the course of their stay, offering scholars various perspectives on American family life as well as managing the extent of any individual family commitments.
We encourage families to consider hosting our exchange students. Hosting invitations are sent out annually in the late spring and summer.
Since 2014 Belmont Hill, has been part of the ASSIST Scholars program. Now celebrating its 50th year, the ASSIST program connects qualified international students to participating American independent schools.
Over the past five years the Belmont Hill community has welcomed students from Sweden, Spain, Croatia, and Australia. ASSIST Scholars are fully enrolled students (with mandatory courses in US History and American Literature). Scholars engage in the full roster of school activities, though generally they do not compete at the varsity level in ISL sports. The year affords them a chance to deepen existing passions as well as pursue new interests.
Unlike our group trips program, ASSIST offers Belmont Hill boys the opportunity to develop robust intercultural relationships over the course of a full academic year, learning with as well as from their international classmate.
The Kageyama-Hunt Lecture Series, established in 2012 by Belmont Hill parents Bill Hunt and Yuko Kageyama-Hunt P ‘11, ‘18, brings speakers to campus who model global citizenship and can inspire generations of Belmont Hill boys to embrace the challenges and opportunities of an interconnected world. Click here to learn more about the Belmont Hill Speaker Program.
Since the Series’ inception, the following international speakers have spoken before and with the school community:
2021-2022 - Judge Taswell Papier (December) and Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD (March)
2020-2021 - Program postponed due to Covid-19
2019 - Hicham Alaoui, scholar on democratization and secularization at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, son of the late Prince Moulay Abdallah, son of King Mohammad V of Morocco.
2018 - Katie Murphy and Nada Elattar, co-founders of Ahlan Simsim, a joint program of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Sesame Street that educates child refugees from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq.
2017 - Hallah Hrund Logadottir, co-founder and co-director of the Arctic Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, former director of the Iceland School of Energy at Reykjavík University.
2016 - David Keith, Harvard professor of climate engineering and public policy, CEO of Carbon Engineering.
2015 - Kim Phuc, "Napalm Girl" from Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken at Trảng Bàng during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972.
James Stavridis, Admiral (USN) and Dean of Fletcher School of Diplomacy.
2014 - Maria Antonia Gardia de la Torre, Colombian human rights journalist.
2013 - Felipe Calderón, former president of Mexico (2006-2012).
Belmont Hill encourages faculty professional development in a variety of ways, including through travel. Supported via the school’s professional growth budget as well as through the Byrnes Grant Program, faculty travel enriches the student experience by deepening teachers’ knowledge in their fields, introducing them to new perspectives and colleagues, and fuel excitement for continued learning.
Initiated by Mr. William L. Byrnes ‘40 and his son Randy ‘65, the Byrnes Grant Program provides “financial resources for selected teachers to pursue off-campus activities which they consider exceptional opportunities for them to reach new heights of enthusiasm and effectiveness with their students.”
Recent recipients of the Byrnes Grant and professional growth funds have conducted a wide range of experience-research with an eye to enhancing the school’s curricular and co-curricular programs:
- Galapagos Islands - Biology, AP Biology
- Icelandic Geology - AP Environment Science, Energy Inquiry
- National Endowment for the Humanities Seminar: John Steinbeck, Social Critic and Ecologist - Environmental Science
- William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Globe Theater - English 4, Page & Stage
- African American History & Culture in the South - African American Studies & African American Literature
- Frankfurt and Stuttgart, Germany - developing a school trip focused on Jewish History & Culture in pre-WWII Germany
- England - study of social life on the Roman frontier, Advanced Latin 3 course.
Belmont Hill also supports faculty travel to domestic and international conferences where teachers give presentation on Belmont Hill’s curricula and school culture. Faculty also have the opportunity to learn from peer schools and colleagues about their programs:
- International Boys Schools Coalition (IBSC), of which Belmont Hill is a founding partner. Faculty have attended and presented at IBSC conferences in:
- South Africa