From the crowded streets of Tokyo to the unspoilt natural landscapes of Sardinia, many Heathwood Upper School students traveled the globe for Winterim week, March 4-8. Others pursued internships, traveled domestically, or took short courses on topics of interest.
Designed to extend learning beyond the traditional classroom, Winterim is a mission-centered, weeklong educational program that focuses on four core areas: academic and cultural enrichment, service learning, wilderness immersion, and internships.
This year's international trips took students to southern Spain, Sardinia, Germany, Japan, and Quebec. Wilderness immersion experiences were available on trips to the Peruvian Andres and to Cozumel, Mexico, where students spent the week SCUBA diving and working on a coral restoration project. Domestic trips included exploration of historic Charleston and the Pacific Northwest, along with a jewelry-making class in the North Carolina mountains, a SCUBA certification program in Florida, and a series of adventure day treks in the Carolinas.
Here on campus, students pursued courses in exercise science, landscape painting, law enforcement, and screenwriting and film.
Internships, which give students the opportunity to explore career options or help local organizations with research or special projects, were pursued by about 25% of Upper School students. Students interned in doctor's offices, sports organizations ranging from Columbia's own Soda City FC soccer team to the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball franchise, nonprofits, and more. Students can seek internships through Heathwood's Columbia Connections program or put them together on their own, as freshman Addie Grace Cook did when she spent the week exploring broadcast journalism by working at two local news outlets and traveling to New York to interview Today Show host Craig Melvin.
“Winterim is an Upper School program of distinction in which students have the opportunity to explore new disciplines and discover passions in ways that transcend the day-to-day classroom experience," said Upper School Head George Scouten, who was one of the faculty leaders on this year's trip to Germany. "They not only interact with new people and cultures, but also gain new skills and knowledge. We know—through both research and experience—the enormous value of experiential learning, and Winterim allows students to learn in just such a manner.”