Our travel programs offer students an opportunity to develop the skills and attitudes essential to global citizenship. By challenging students to consider new perspectives and different cultures, these trips seek to integrate a Deerfield education with the shifting realities of the wider world. Led by experienced Deerfield faculty, these programs also allow students to deepen their relationships with the faculty leaders and their fellow travelers. Students return to campus with new perspectives and a broadened world view that prepares them for college and beyond.


Food and Water in a Cross-cultural Context


If you want to study cuisine, sustainable food systems, and the geopolitics of freshwater while traveling to sites of breathtaking architectural and natural beauty, this year’s March trip to Jordan is the trip for you. Jordan’s physical position along the path of ancient spice routes and other trade routes has afforded it a complex, varied and flavorful cuisine. The country’s political decisions to welcome large numbers of refugees from Syria and other areas have spurred policy-makers to update food production and distribution systems. Additionally, the fact that Jordan is one of the most water-stressed nations in our increasingly thirsty world has impacted almost every area of Jordanian society and culture, from international politics to local sustainability efforts and architectural design.

Students will begin their journey at King’s Academy, taking classes with K.A. students during the day and talking with food and water-related experts in the evenings. They will then travel through the country, investigating the relationships of Jordan’s historical sites and natural reserves to themes of food systems and sustainable freshwater use. Students will return to D.A. with an increased awareness of the need, worldwide, for sustainable food and freshwater systems, an appreciation of Jordan’s responses to its particular regional and national challenges, and a greater sense of what it means to be a globally competent citizen of a rapidly changing world.



On this spring break trip to Kitongo, on the south shores of Lake Victoria, students will partner with Mainsprings: The Janada L. Batchelor Foundation for Children, to learn about sustainable development. Mainsprings, which has the stated mission to end extreme rural poverty in Tanzania, focuses on education, refuge for young girls, and sustainable agriculture. Education is available for not only the 40 girls living at the campus, but it is also offered to regional students, who are taught in smaller class sizes than nearby government schools. DA students will learn from farmer educators about ecological agriculture on the multi-faceted on-site farm, with rows of perennial trees (e.g., banana, papaya, avocado) interspersed with short rows of annual plants (e.g., kale, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes, corn). Through immersion in the daily operations of Mainsprings (e.g., working in the dining hall, on the farm and with reading buddies) and attending seminars and working with Tanzanian students on projects, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of non-profit organizations.

Through these experiences, students will return to Deerfield with an increased understanding of environmental sustainability and educational approaches to effect lasting change. As a part of the trip, students will experience the Serengeti National park, learning about conservation, social justice, and regional approaches to land protection.

The Domincan Republic:

Housebuilding with Cambiando Vidas


A team of Deerfield students will travel to the Dominican Republic to build a house for a family in the village of Lavapie with the organization Cambiando Vidas. When work begins on Sunday morning, the house will be one cinderblock high. By Thursday afternoon, the house will be finished—complete with running water and electricity.
On the final night, the team will share the first dinner in the house with the family and the 100+ members of the community who worked on the house. 

Where we've been

Recent student trips have to been Africa (studying sustainable development in Tanzania), East Asia (Chinese language and culture), the Caribbean (marine ecology in the Bahamas), Central America (conservation efforts in Panama), the Middle East (Jordan), North America (immigration in the American Southwest), and Western Europe (French language and culture). 

Frequently Asked Questions

For the past several years, Deerfield has participated in the Green Cup Challenge, an interscholastic energy conservation competition. The school that reduces its kWh usage by the largest percentage wins. The school that reduces GHG emissions by the largest percentage is recognized.

Deerfield runs an on-campus competition during the Green Cup Challenge. Through the month-long challenge, our students follow the success of their dormitory on our energy dashboard and compare their achievements to their on-campus peers and to other schools. The dorm that reduces its energy the most from an established baseline wins a significant prize—an on-campus activity for themselves and another dorm of their choosing, AND a cash prize proportional to dorm size. Because the Green Cup Challenge is a month-long event, we believe that the changed energy consumption practices are more likely to become a learned behavior.

As an SYA member school, Deerfield is able to offer a wide range of study abroad options. In addition to spending school years living and learning languages in foreign countries, Deerfield students can also participate in faculty-led trips during the spring and summer, which allow students to use their language skills in practical settings, under the guidance of Deerfield language faculty.

Think 80|20 is Deerfield’s campus recycling program, which has the goal of changing our habits so that only 20% of our campus waste ends up in a landfill. Think 80|20 signs are posted in all campus buildings and on all recycling/compost/landfill receptacles to educate people on how to dispose of their waste appropriately.

The Energy Dashboard displays daily, weekly, and annual energy consumption information in a building-by-building format. In addition, you can track the performance of solar power systems on two buildings. The Dashboard is an integral part of coursework in many classrooms, and it is wildly popular during the Green Cup Challenge each year.

Environmental proctors are student leaders in sustainability efforts at Deerfield Academy. Working with the Sustainability Coordinator, e-proctors participate in a variety of projects, including dormitory recycling and energy conservation challenges, and promote sustainability around campus.

Upperclassmen can apply to become e-proctors each fall. E-proctors are required to attend biweekly meetings, be involved in one “project” per term, post sustainability announcements and educational materials in dorms, and be a role model for their peers. They will play an important part in helping Deerfield to be environmentally sustainable. A complete list of e-proctors’ duties is available online.

A variety of faculty-led trips allow students to travel under the guidance of a Deerfield teacher without having to spend the entire year living and studying in a foreign country. These trips, which usually take place during spring break or the summer, often include a homestay, and are a great way to improve language skills and experience a different culture.

Language requirements vary by program. Consult individual program websites for more information.

Deerfield’s study abroad partner schools offer a comparable set of courses, so students can fulfill Academy requirements with little or no penalty to their academic progress. All students who are thinking about studying abroad should meet with Director of Studies Lydia Hemphill for assistance in planning their study abroad experience.

Study abroad is available to all students from their sophomore to senior years, although typically students who choose to go abroad will do so during their junior year.

Deerfield has a wide net of international associations, and therefore has the ability to offer a broad spectrum of study abroad opportunities. Semesters abroad in Jordan, Costa Rica, and the Bahamas are highlights of Deerfield’s international programs, which also include Round Square service trips, a variety of School Year Abroad opportunities, exchange programs, and faculty-led trips to places such as the Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Colombia and China.

The Center for Service and Global Citizenship offers two types of grants: CSGC Grants and Micro-Grants.

CSGC Grants: These grants invite Deerfield Academy students to serve others during their summer months. The grants are offered through the generosity of the Cost, Earle, Mendillo and Workman families, and the funds are provided to honor the call in our Mission Statement:

A vibrant, ethical community that embraces diversity, the Academy prepares students for leadership in a rapidly changing world that requires global understanding, environmental stewardship, and dedication to service.

Micro-Grants: Through the CSGC, students can apply to up to $150 to fund student-generated projects on and off campus during the school year.

The annual Spring Term Community Event, hosted at the Deerfield Academy Track, draws the largest number of students to any one service event.  Each year, the CSGC Student Board determines which organization will be the focus of our fundraising and awareness efforts, and the spring term event is the culmination of this year-long effort.  In the recent past, the American Cancer Society and Cancer Connection of Northampton have been the organizations the Deerfield Academy community has supported.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County is the service program with the largest participation, calling on approximately seventy juniors and seniors to serve as “Bigs” who spend Friday evenings with a child from Franklin County to serve as mentors and role models. Deerfield Academy also hosts several Red Cross blood drives, which collect blood for use in local hospitals, and students participate as donors and volunteers.

Students can pursue service as a co-curricular option, engaging in community service projects one to four days a week. Projects include Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County, Second-Helpings (a food kitchen and food distribution program), Musica Franklin (music instruction to middle-school students), and after-school programs at two local elementary schools. In addition, students can engage in service abroad in the Cambiando Vidas program in the Dominican Republic, and a variety of other CSGC service trips. Students have the opportunity to design their own programs in their local community and abroad, utilizing funding from the Charles Cost Award, or David Workman Grant to be used in the summer or during the school year.  Every athletic team also participates in at least one day of local community service at some point during their season.

Deerfield’s varied and expansive community service programs require a great deal of planning and organization. Most programs are planned through the CSGC Student Board. The board handles all event planning and fundraising and serves as a liaison between the school and other Franklin County and regional service organizations.

The legacy of Frank L. Boyden means that service is an intrinsic part of a Deerfield education. Every year students are reminded of the words of Mr. Boyden: “The test of the worth of any school is, in the last analysis, the record of her alumni… it is our sincere hope that the tradition of service instilled and nurtured here… may endure always to the lasting benefit of the country and the world.” With such a powerful call for service at the heart of its mission, Deerfield places a strong emphasis on service in all its forms. As such, there are a plethora of service opportunities at Deerfield, and students are enthusiastically encouraged to participate as much as they can.

Contact the Center for Service and Global Citizenship


Boyden Library

7 Boyden Lane, PO Box 87
Deerfield, MA 01342