For more than 25 years, NCS has participated in an exchange for 9th-grade students with St. Paul's Girls' School (SPGS) in London. This long-standing tradition has created lasting relationships "across the pond." Each spring, St. Paul's students visit D.C. and spend mornings in NCS classes and afternoons exploring the District. In June, NCS students travel to London for a week to visit classes, expore the British capital, and stay with their host families. The exchange is a cherished NCS tradition for our 9th graders, and we are thrilled to continue this partnership with St. Paul's year after year.
A unique curriculum is developed jointly each year by NCS and SPGS faculty and staff. The program engages students around a major global issue, which they explore through readings, discussion, and interactions with local communities and organizations in Washington and London. The program is offered every year to the 9th-grade class; creating a community of scholars who lead and shape discussions on global issues throughout their years at NCS.
NCS has a strong partnership with Lycée Stanislas in Paris. Every other year, Upper School students in our French-language program have the opportunity to participate in a reciprocal exchange with the young women of Stanislas, sharing culture and customs while building language proficiency. Homestays in Paris and Washington are a key component of this program. Our students travel to Paris over spring break and host Stanislas students in April.
Similar to the London exchange, the Paris exchange program pursues a unique curriculum that immerses participants in an issue affecting both Paris and Washington. Students participate through readings, discussions, and interactions with local communities and organizations in each city. They return to their home country with improved language skills, lifelong friends, and an expanded global worldview.
NCS students who have completed Level 3 Spanish and higher are eligible to travel to Spain with our language and culture program, which takes place every other year. Expert faculty and local guides engage them in language learning and an exploration of historic and contemporary Spanish society. NCS students return to campus eager to continue their language studies and to return to Spain, and other Spanish-speaking countries, in the future.
In previous years, NCS students have explored Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba, Sevilla and Granada. They visited sites such as Museo del Prado, Palacio Real, Museo Reina Sofía, and Parque del Retiro. They learned about Spanish history in Toledo and Córdoba, visiting the Mezquita and the Calahorra tower. In Sevilla, they visited iconic sites such as La Catedral de Sevilla, El Alcázar, and La Alhambra in nearby Granada.
NCS and St. Albans School students studying Chinese have the opportunity to travel to China with our language and culture program, which takes place every other year.
During past travel programs, NCS students traced Beijing's history, visited the majestic Great Wall and the Forbidden City, enjoyed the gourmet food and giant pandas in Chengdu, and learned the fascinating history of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. They experienced a diversity of historic sites, local restaurants, and communities to gain a greater understanding of Chinese culture and lifestyle.
Another past trip sent NCS dance and Chinese-language students to Beijing and Hong Kong for an exchange trip. Students participated in calligraphy, music, and dance workshops at Beijing School No. 9 and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
This program allows NCS students to spend a week in Rome and its environs visiting significant cultural sites while reading the very Latin that was meant for that place. The itinerary, offered in partnership with the Paideia Institute, includes Ostia (ancient Rome's seaport), Tivoli (the Emperor Hadrian's villa), the Forum, the Colosseum, and the extensive collections in both the Vatican and Capitoline museums.
NCS students who will have successfully completed at least Level I Latin by the end of the school year are eligible for the program.
The Lauren Sarah Hester Fellowship was created in 1988 in memory of Lauren '87. It provides an opportunity for a rising senior to undertake an independent project or travel program during the summer following her junior year. Local, domestic, and international projects are encouraged. During the fall semester of junior year, a student must present a proposal outlining her research project, which is reviewed by the committee. Recipients are generally announced in late January. Students share their research with the school at an assembly during the fall of their senior year.
Established in 1998, the Raiser Environmental Fellowship is a summer study-travel program available to NCS juniors. Sponsored by alumna Skye Raiser '85, the fellowship funds a student's or students' self-designed scientific research program in the fields of environmental science, biodiversity, conservation, or the impact of environmental degradation or pollution on human life. Domestic and international projects are encouraged.
Students apply for the fellowship during the fall semester of junior year, presenting a detailed proposal that outlines the research project, which is reviewed by the committee. Recipients are generally announced in December. Students share their research with the school at an assembly the fall of their senior year.
Established in 2018, the fellowship provides financial support for students with innovative ideas and demonstrated passion in creating a more inclusive and just society. Fellowship recipients will be given the opportunity to actively expand their own understanding in the areas of equity, diversity, or social justice. They are expected to demonstrate the application of their learning within their community in writing or by formal presentation during the school year following the grant.
Coordinated through the NCS English Department, the Koch Fellowship was established in 1982 in memory of John S. Koch, whose two daughters graduated from NCS. Through the Koch family's generosity, NCS is able to honor and encourage students for their "consistent excellence in expository writing." Recipients are chosen through a creative essay application and are sent to study courses of their choosing through the Oxbridge Academic Program in Oxford, England.
The Susan Ajello Award for International Scholars helps fund participation by Upper School students in any NCS-sponsored international exchange or trip. Eligibility is based on academic excellence, a student's essay, interest in the NCS Global Outreach Program, and financial need as determined by the Office of Admission and Financial Aid. The award was established in memory of Susan Ajello, mother of Christina Ajello '02 and Stephanie Ajello '05, by her family, her friends, and other loyal supporters of international studies at NCS.
Established in 2017, the Parents Association Visual Arts Fellowship supports the exploration of the visual arts outside the classroom. In encouraging students to develop burgeoning artistic interests, it can reinforce the NCS core value of courage. The fellowship encourages applicants to propose visual art experiences using the broadest possible definition of visual art, inclusive of all materials, techniques, modes, ideas, and questions.
Upper School student recipients complete their fellowship experiences during the summer and can elect to complete an experience locally, elsewhere in the United States, or abroad. This fellowship aims to support students as they explore new opportunities for artistic experience and study, and to allow for more intense work and study than is possible during the school day.
Fellowship funding may be used to support summer work and study in the visual arts, lessons, workshops and master classes, residential and nonresidential summer programs, the purchase of art supplies for summer work and exploration, or independent study.
Extension programs are semester- or year-long academic studies away from NCS. These programs typically offer traditional classes but may also focus on a particular subject such as language, leadership, or science. There are many extension programs for high school students, and NCS supports student participation in those programs that offer a rigorous academic experience without significantly delaying or interrupting a student's course of study at NCS. A list of NCS-approved extension programs can be found here.
Extension programs are opportunities to develop independence, gain leadership skills, explore areas of interest, take risks, meet students from around the world, and, in some ways, preview a college experience. They can be incredible experiences, but they aren't for everyone, and it takes careful planning to participate in such a program.