2017 International Winterim Courses

International Winterim courses are announced in the early summer to give students and families time to plan and arrange resources. We recognize these courses are expensive, and we strive to offer remarkable opportunities for students to immerse themselves in other cultures and learn about the role we each play in the world. Students who are interested in participating in an international course must submit an International Winterim Course application to Christina Meyerhoff by 9:00 a.m. on October 3, 2016.

Need-based financial aid is available for all Winterim courses. Students may request financial assistance for international courses by submitting a Winterim financial aid form by October 3 to Jen Bash, Director of Financial Aid.

The full list of rich and diverse Winterim course offerings for 2017 will be posted on this website prior to Thanksgiving break.

Biennial French Exchange Program

For our students who have had at least two years of French, we have an established exchange program with a high school in the Lyon region of France. L’Externat Sainte-Marie is located in La Verpillière, twenty minutes to the south east of Lyon. Our students spend a little over two weeks in home stays with the family of their host student, going to school at l’Externat, and touring the surrounding region. In previous years those short trips have included Geneva, the medieval towns of Crémieux and Pérouges, and further south, Avignon and les Baux de Provence.   

The trip also includes three to four days spent in Paris. The trip begins the week before Winterim and includes Winterim and most of spring break. In return, the French correspondents who hosted the OES students come to Portland and spend approximately three weeks with their OES families, attending classes and touring the region.  A parent meeting for those who are interested in participating in this exchange will be scheduled in the fall.

For more information please contact Katrina Perry at OES (503 416-9337) or by e-mail perryk@oes.edu

Leaders:  Katrina Perry & TBA
Dates:  We will likely depart on March 9 and return on March 30.
Enrollment:  10-14 students
Cost:  $3600 (includes all expenses except lunch during the four days in Paris, personal expenditures, and passport fees.)


Chajul, Guatemala-OES and Catlin Gabel Global Service Collaboration 

This trip will mark the fourth biennial global service collaboration between Catlin Gabel and Oregon Episcopal School. Together, our group of seven OES and seven CG students will journey to the Ixil Mayan town of Chajul, Guatemala, where we will work with community leaders and support their efforts to improve the lives of children and families in Chajul.

The Ixil region was the target of genocide during Guatemala’s 36 year civil war. Despite the signing of peace accords in 1996, people in Chajul still struggle. Less than 3% of students in Chajul graduate from high school and 75% of the adults are illiterate. Additionally, basic health and nutrition needs go unmet for many families, as 93% live on less than $2 per day. In an effort to address these deficits, we will focus our service on education and health by working with three locally-based non-governmental organizations: Limitless Horizons Ixil, (which initiated the area’s only public library and offers educational support, professional training, and health education in Chajul); Philanthropiece (which offers scholarships and support for students motivated to attend university) and with CEMIK, a one-room school house that provides Ixil-Spanish bilingual education to the poorest families in the community. These three organizations are working to bring the people of Chajul into the 21st century while still maintaining their Ixil cultural identity and traditions.

Students who participate in this trip should be excited to speak a lot of Spanish (all communication with people in Chajul is conducted in Spanish), to learn about the role of NGOs in the developing world, and to play, learn and work with very small children through young adults in Chajul. Our rewards will be the opportunity to develop friendships with people whose lives are very different from our own, and the rare chance to experience daily life in a corner of the world that few extranjeros have the privilege to visit.

Course Leaders: Christina Meyerhoff & Spencer White
NGO Key Collaborators: Joan Williams & Dr. Andrew Zechnich
Dates: March 18– March 28, 2017
Enrollment: 7 OES students, 7 CGS students. (Priority will be given to students who have completed at least Spanish III)
Cost: ~ $2300 depending on airfare

For answers to questions and for more information throughout the summer, please contact Christina Meyerhoff at meyerhoffc@oes.edu or 503-248-0344


Modern Denmark & Germany & the Challenges of Immigration and Refugee Settlement

The goal of the trip is to engage students in one of the most pressing and ongoing cultural, political, and humanitarian challenges of recent European history: the settlement of Syrian exiles.
We will travel to Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and Berlin, the capital of Germany to learn about the issues first hand and to consider them in the context of 20th century German history, especially the years 1933-1945. We will then travel to the Stuttgart area where we will meet up with German students who have studied the issues, people who have worked directly with refugees, and members of the refugee community. Denmark offers the possibility of a study in contrast to help us consider what is unique about German and Danish responses and what challenges are more universal.

Course Leaders: John Holloran & Rick Rees
Dates: March 16– March 28, 2017
Enrollment: 8-14 students
Cost: $3600


Divided Korea: Two Nations, One History

Come with us to explore the only divided nation in the world as we taste life in the South while looking North to better understand that which defines a people. We’ll spend 10 days based in Seoul, South Korea. Our experience will start with acclimating to the culture and geography of Seoul before working with a local organization to learn about the historic split and the hope for reunification. The rest of our trip will focus on bringing to life our new understandings of South Korea by visiting major cultural sites (including the DMZ and the Unification Tower), exploring pre-war traditional customs, and connecting with local Korean students. Commit to understanding how South Korea evolved under external pressure to create imaginary lines in the sand, tear apart families and traditions, and force two parallel cultures to emerge in the 21st century. Join us in living, for a moment, in the fast-paced world of modern Seoul while glimpsing its historic past.

Course Leaders: Alana Kaholokula, Ed Cecere, and Sarah Kim (student leader)
Trip dates: March 16-26, 2017
Enrollment: 10-12
Cost: $3,000 - $3,400


Nepal: Culture, Religion, and Earthquake Restoration 

For this trip we will partner with Catlin Gabel School and SAGE Global education. The trip will have three main foci: Exploring the cultures and religions of Nepal; exploring the natural beauty and culture of the mountains through the challenge of trekking in the Himalayas; and learning about the effects of the recent earthquake and the recovery efforts.

The trip will start in the historic city of Kathmandu. We will explore local religious (primarily Buddhist, Hindu, and Newari) and World Heritage sites to learn about the history and culture of Nepal. We will also meet with local people to learn about Nepali political structure and the effects of the 2015 earthquake.

We will then travel to the mountain village of Sermathang. This village was severely affected by the 2015 earthquake, leaving many homes and other buildings destroyed. We will work side by side with Nepali youth to help construct a new community/multipurpose hall for the village. We will spend 3+ days working in the village and will have great opportunities to form authentic relationships with local community members and to learn about their culture (quite different from what we will have found in Kathmandu).

We will spend the final portion of our trip trekking in the Himalayas in Langtang National Park. During our trek we will spend time in smaller villages further up the mountains and will summit the sacred peak of Ama Yangri (12,000’, no technical skills needed).

Course Leaders: Tom Handel, Becky Wynne (CGS), SAGE facilitator
Dates: March 16– March 31, 2017
Enrollment: 6 OES students, 6 CGS students
Cost: $3800

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