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Winterim SnorkelingThe Winterim program at Heathwood Hall is a valuable and exciting learning opportunity for Upper School students. Winterim occurs annually during the first week in March and provides a rich educational experience that takes place beyond the traditional classroom and outside the daily academic schedule.

Students may choose to participate in activities that are staged locally, or they may choose to become involved in a program that travels regionally, domestically, or even internationally. Students also have an opportunity to become immersed in a job shadowing, or internship, experience.

The Winterim curriculum focuses on four core areas: academic and/or cultural enrichment, service, wilderness immersion, and internship opportunities. It is strongly recommended that students engage in a program grounded in each of the four core areas during their time in the Upper School. At a minimum, all students are required to engage in at least one internship during their four years as an upper school student.

Knowing young people often learn best when they are able to choose a subject and become actively immersed in its study, Heathwood faculty members have offered a wide variety of Winterim experiences for Heathwood students for nearly forty years, providing students with incredible learning opportunities in our own community, around the country, and around the world. The richness of experiences and the ongoing success of Winterim have made it a Program of Distinction at Heathwood Hall.

Recent Winterim Experiences 

International Travel

  • Argentina: Students immersed themselves in the rich culture and history of Buenos Aires, living, dining, and traveling like locals, learning to tango, and taking day trips into the surrounding countryside.
  • Costa Rica: Starting on the Pacific coast and working their way east through the mountains to the Caribbean, students swam, surfed, hiked, rappelled down a waterfall, explored a coffee plantation, and performed community service at a school nestled beneath a volcano.
  • Morocco: Journeying from urban Marrakech to the 14th-century village of Ait Benhaddou to the towering dunes of the Sahara and the massive peaks of the Atlas Mountains, students explored Moroccan culture, landscapes, and cuisine.
  • Zambia: At the Mwandi Mission, students spent a week of service to a local school, farm, and orphanage. They also traveled to Victoria Falls and went on safari at Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Domestic Travel

  • SCUBA Open Water Dive Certification: Working with a team of instructors, students progressed from the classroom to a pool to freshwater springs in Florida, earning Open Water Dive certification along the way.
  • Hawaii: On the Big Island of Hawaii, students participated in environmental service work by assisting local organizations in their mission to safeguard Hawaii’s rich biodiversity.
  • Atlanta College and History Tour: In addition to touring colleges ranging from UGA to Emory to Georgia State, students visited the Civil Rights Museum, the Coca-Cola Museum, the Georgia Museum of Art, and more.
  • Death Valley: Death Valley’s extreme climate makes for unique and spectacular landscapes. Students spent a week hiking and camping in the desert, exploring their surroundings and the region’s history.

Short Courses

  • Podcasting: Working with faculty from the English and IT departments, students honed both their storytelling technique and their A/V skills, while exploring what makes a podcast successful, whether it’s aimed for mass appeal or for a niche market.
  • Real Life 101: From auto maintenance to personal finance, from self-defense to basic cooking to unclogging the sink, Real Life 101 was a week-long crash course in key things students need to know by the time they graduate into the “real world.”
  • CSI Heathwood: Taking a hands-on approach to the sciences of criminology and sociology, CSI Heathwood walked students through all the stages of crime scene investigation, drawing on the expertise of members of various local law enforcement agencies.
  • Exercise Science: From clinical exercise physiology to physical therapy to strength and conditioning, the Exercise Science class gave students hands-on experience in an array of areas related to health and human performance.
  • Artist Residency: At Upstate SC’s Rensing Center, students spent the week making art through both structured and unstructured sessions in the studio, and in nature.

Travels Near and Far: Winterim 2022

Camping in Big Bend, Texas

Nestled in the Southwest corner of Texas, Big Bend National Park is an adventurer’s paradise, where students spent the week making daily excursions on horseback, on foot, on mountain bikes, and on river rafts in an area of the American West where nature and culture blend into one.

Marine Biology in Islamodora

Students spent the week working as citizen scientists in the Florida Keys, helping to restore coral reefs, while also undertaking a series of specialty dives that allowed them to earn Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification.

Scientific Policy and Climate Change in Miami

Combining scientific study with first-hand observation, this trip invited students to explore the effects of climate change and interact with the policy leaders who are helping one of America’s largest coastal cities adapt to its changing environment.

Winter Sports in New Hampshire

On this trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, students went skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, and winter mountaineering. Most notably, they reached the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast.

More Signature Programs

Visual Art Concentration

Upper School students who choose VAC have additional art courses and dedicated art-making time outside of class.

Community Service

At every age and grade level, students learn about how they can participate in and improve our community.