The Traveling School

A place-based semester high school for girls.

The Traveling School amplifies female voices through transformative education to ignite positive change. Living out of backpacks and duffels, students redefine their relationship to academics as they grapple with real-life impacts of global issues such as climate change, power dynamics, identity and privilege. Classes come to life through firsthand experiences, stories and activism.

Why We Go

The Traveling School develops young women leaders with powerful voices and widened perspectives who are inspired to learn, able to adapt, willing to take risks and excited to engage with the world. Our students share a common desire to redefine high school, participate in a global community and enact positive change. While exploring new cultures, our students learn about themselves and their place in a bigger world.

Community is a core component of the experience. With low student to teacher ratios, students have an opportunity to build strong relationships with both teachers and peers alike as the cohort lives, learns and grows together. While traveling across varying landscapes, students develop outdoor skills, build confidence and earn full credit through five rigorous classes during this transformational semester.

Where We Go

Southern Africa: Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa

Explore the sun-kissed terrain of southern Africa, experiencing all it has to offer. You’ll travel in an overland truck through four magnificent countries, completing coursework by day and camping at night. Custom-designed regional academics focus on the impact of Apartheid on modern South Africa, wildlife biology, the implications of mining and contemporary issues of the region. Learn more about our southern Africa semester here.

South America: Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia

Soak in the culture, language, and landscape of South America as you backpack your way through the region. You’ll stay in backpacker hostels, trek the Andes and live with Quichua families during a homestay. Students immerse in Spanish language study throughout the semester, building conversational skills and confidence. Rigorous regional academics follow the course itinerary with intensive focus on the Amazon rain forest, Machu Picchu and the Inca civilization, and contemporary politics. Learn more about our South America semester here.

Western US: Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.

Navigate booming rapids while contemplating the social and economic effects of hydroelectric energy. Stargaze in the desert while discussing the injustices of dispossessed Indigenous homelands. Backpack through the Rocky Mountains while considering the geological, political and cultural forces that shape them. Confront the intersection of historical and contemporary issues through a variety of lenses. Learn more about our Western US Semester here.


Traveling School classes expand beyond four walls and make learning come alive. We create time and space for students to learn from their natural surroundings, the communities through which we travel and the people we meet along the way. Customized curriculum and textbooks support academic activities and cultural interaction. Students take a minimum of five semester credits, choosing from: Global Studies, PE & Independent Life Skills, History, English, Natural Science, and a short list of supplementary classes. Learn about our academics here.

Outdoor Adventure & Leadership Skills

The Traveling School’s abundance of outdoor experiences push students to embrace the unknown, turn challenges into opportunities and enter new experiences with self-awareness and confidence. In this supportive atmosphere, our students will be empowered to challenge themselves physically and emotionally as they boldly tackle new adventures.

Leadership curriculum is a key component of building confidence and communication skills. The semester provides intentional time and space to reflect on and put into practice skills to help effectively resolve conflict, gain independence and exhibit confidence in an individual’s voice and ideas.

What Our Students and Families Say

“Before TTS, I took my human rights for granted and sat comfortably with my privilege. I learned to unlearn and reflect upon my own personal bias before outwardly advocating for change. I learned not to shy away from politics, even though I am young. I learned to ignore when people took my advocacy and assertion as ‘too bossy’ or ‘too loud’ because of my gender. I learned to educate myself in order to grow.” -TTS alumna
“TTS will open worlds that you never even thought existed, and will teach you about not only how many galaxies there are outside of you but also how many there are inside of you.” -TTS alumna
"Where do I start? Empowering young women to trust in themselves, to see who they truly are and what they can strive to be.By stretching them to their limits it pushes them past their boundaries. Allowing them to be them, so they can discover that its ok to be an individual and to see how life is and to go for it!" -TTS parent
“We truly believe one of the most important gifts we can give our children is a sense that they belong to a larger world; that they’re global citizens. Teenagers in particular need to feel that there is a vast world out there to which they belong. The Traveling School sets the stage for helping young people see the possibilities beyond their own communities, states, and national borders. Never has there been a time when this is more important!” – TTS parent

School Facts

Semester Size


Student Teacher Ratio


Grade Levels

Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Focus / Specialty

All-Girls, International, Leadership, Outdoors, Place-based academics


South America, southern Africa, or western United States



Admission Deadlines

February 15 - After that, we accept applications on a rolling basis.


Accepting Applications for Fall 2023
Accepting Applications for Spring 2024

Contact Information

Featured In

Think, create, explore, learn, grow.

For more information and to apply, please visit — The Traveling School Web Site.

Request Information Learn More & Apply