Informing Ethical Citizenship

“How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?”

-Secretary of State, John Kerry, Vietnam Veteran, testifying against the Vietnam War to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971

“How can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?”

– Senator Rand Paul, arguing against military intervention in Syria, 2013

Visualize it: teaching about Vietnam prevents the next “mistake”– another catastrophic war — from happening.

vietnam-war-photographyWe want the events of history to inform ethical citizenship today. Our trips do that. Whether students are engaged in service-learning projects with children disabled with Agent Orange-related complications, dining in the elegant Saigon villa of Henry Cabot Lodge (Kennedy-era U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam), or creating art with Khmer Rouge genocide survivors—our educational travel program is designed to open minds through the heart. We travel with compassion, encouraging students to empathize with the local people, policy-makers and soldiers on all sides.

Creative, comprehensive learning adventures in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia – where Buddhist traditions of forgiveness allow authentic engagement.

Internationally: our students and theirs are building a new generation of lifelong friendships.

Travelers are prepared pre-departure with a Global Online Academy Vietnam War course—accessible at their convenience — taught by our award-winning history teachers. Curriculum is designed to efficiently convey the significance of the people and sites we visit in SE Asia. Meaningful engagement with “living historians” –journalists, survivors, artists, policy-makers and veterans—humanizes the abstract. Students are poised to apply inferential reasoning about our modern day: Our inquiries are framed to encourage critical thinking about contemporary conflicts around the world, and in which ways social entrepreneurship can assist to bridge those differences.

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Returning students are like mini-ambassadors in their communities. Change agents.  Inspired to take action and make *something* a better place. Hosting a “Veteran’s Day” panel of soldiers from diverse conflicts, creating a “SayNo!UXO” non-profit to raise funds for clusterbomb victims in Laos, screening “The Missing Picture” Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Film (2013) about the Cambodian genocide, starting a “Wounded Warriors” campus chapter, Inviting John McCain to speak on campus about his experience as a prisoner of war.

Since 2004, student innovations inspired by our trips are, like the casualties of wars, Too. Numerous. To. Count.

“Knowledge is the true organ of sight.” (attributed to ancient Indian Panchatantra) Join us in seeing conflict find a better way.

Vietnam Highlights

Combining cultural awareness, adventure travel, insider’s experiences and service-learning, this one-of-a-kind trip empowers travelers to understand the causes and consequences of America’s most controversial military conflict. Balancing active discovery with peaceful reflection, we perceive the Vietnam War through a lens of compassion. Students return from our Vietnam journeys as more ethical, attuned citizens of our global community.

  • Experience Saigon’s legendary buzz
  • Savor Hanoi’s French colonial charm
  • Boat the mighty Mekong Delta
  • Photograph rare scenery
  • Visit the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Honor U.S. veterans on China Beach
  • Relax in Hoi An’s breezy seaside tropics
  • Shop modern and traditional markets
  • Meet former “Vietcong” generals
  • Bike through local fishing villages
  • Trek terraced highlands to Hmong villages
  • Relax on breathtaking beaches
  • Taste Vietnamese-French fusion cuisine
  • Volunteer with Agent-Orange disabled children
  • Meditate in serene monasteries along the Perfume River
  • Kayak through limestone islands of mysterious Halong Bay
  • Trek through vibrant rainforest mountains
  • Understand past conflict and modern prosperity

Cambodia Highlights

Our meaningful engagement with kind-hearted locals brings the diverse realities of Cambodia to life: family farmers, genocide survivors, humanitarians, factory workers, artists and scholars. Travelers understand history of Cambodia at the local, regional, and global levels.  Go Deep: innovate social entrepreneurial ideas in a land resonating resiliency of the human spirit.

  • Explore Phnom Penh’s urban buzz
  • Boat the mighty Mekong River at sunset
  • Tuk-Tuk ride through charming colonial streets
  • Savor gourmet French fusion cuisine
  • Volunteer at preschools with local children
  • Ride elephants through jungle clearings
  • Understand history and healing at the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison
  • Meditate in serene monasteries
  • Photograph mysterious Angkor Wat at sunrise, 7th Wonder of the World
  • Visit floating villages on the legendary Tonle Sap Lake
  • Shop modern and traditional markets
  • Inspire yourself with music and dance workshops
  • Relax on breathtaking beaches
  • Volunteer with landmine victims
  • Trek through vibrant coastal rainforest
  • Enjoy insider’s access to genocide survivors, artists and local heroes

Laos Highlights

Experience the tranquil spirit of a non-violent people thriving amidst a tragic legacy of the Vietnam War.  Working in collaboration with M.A.G (Mines Advisory Group), students explore the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) issue in a context of safety and mutual understanding.  We visit schools where our service-work teaching English, entrepreneurship and how to avoid the “bombies” threatening local villages illustrates the power of education to end poverty and heal from war.

  • Boat the breezy Mekong River
  • Walk French colonial capital of Vientiane
  • Feed the monks at their dawn pilgrimage
  • Experience romantic Luang Prabang
  • Visit the mysterious Plain of Jars
  • Enjoy creative Laos-French gourmet cooking lessons
  • Volunteer with UXO disabled children
  • Meditate in serene monasteries and ancient temples
  • Kayak through emerald waterfalls
  • Trek to historic caves on the Ho Chi Minh Trail
  • Understand past conflict and modern prosperity
  • Ride elephants through vibrant jungle villages