Student Travel Opportunities

Close Up Washington, D.C.

Contact Person: Tyler Trimberger,

How often the trip occurs: Annually

Dates of trip: Second Semester, every year

Overview: Looking for an exciting, life-changing experience? Join the Washington, D.C. Close-Up trip. Participants will spend a week in the nation's capital experiencing the U.S. government in action. This experience is open to all students in grades 9-12.

Academic Purpose: This trip is great for any student interested in politics, government, history or public policy. We will spend the week in D.C. with students from all around the country. Essentially, the city becomes our classroom for the week. Activities include; a mock congress, a day at the capital meeting with our representatives, monument and museum lessons, civil war battleground tours and much more. For more information, visit

Costa Rica Biology Research Experience

Contact: Toni Leland,

How often: Every year for 10 days in June

Overview: Students study leaf cutter ants in Costa Rica and earn college credit. WHS travel to Costa Rica to study leaf cutter ants with a professor from the University of Costa Rica while receiving college credits from Kean University in NJ. Students spend two days swimming with and helping tag sea turtles with researchers. Additionally, students will be collecting and releasing sting rays for research.

Applications are taken at the beginning of the school year. Limit of 16 students. All money for trip is paid in installments, scholarships and fundraising. Student cost should be around $3,600 for trip (all expenses included) with an additional $300 for 3 college credits. The trip takes place after the first week of summer break. Eligible students need to have finished biology by the end of this school year (current 10th and 11th graders). Bio, BioX and AP biology students have all been on this trip and have had an amazing experience.

Music Department

Contact Person: Mark Gitch,

Overview: Group travel with a performing ensemble provides a rich social context for inspiring, transformational artistic work, as well as unique and exciting opportunities for personal and intellectual growth. To that end, Wayzata High School’s top choir and orchestra travel regionally or nationally once every three years. In recent years the Concert Choir has built an ongoing relationship with a professional choir in Texas and the Chamber Orchestra has traveled to New York, New Orleans and Chicago. The Wind Ensemble and Marching Band alternate travel years, with the former frequently traveling to Chicago and the latter to Orlando. Contact a director for information on travel dates.

Travel is an integral part of curriculum for the above ensembles. In order to retain high levels of participation (85-100%), limit our fundraising and provide financial assistance as needed, we limit our destinations to dynamic regional and national locations. This provides the most important benefits of group travel at a fraction of the cost of international travel. There is, of course, great potential value in international travel and we encourage students to supplement their Wayzata High School performance travel experience with international travel connected to area youth orchestras, the Minnesota Ambassadors program (band and choir), or travel in another academic area such as world languages.

Marine Biology SCUBA Trip to Grand Cayman Island

Contact Person: Erik Christenson,

How Often: This trip takes place every summer

Overview: This eight-day trip is designed to engage students in first-hand, experiential, learning. Students will earn a full SCUBA certification and travel to Grand Cayman Island where they will dive 2-3 times a day and spend the evenings learning about the coral reef ecosystem of the Caribbean. This trip is open to all 10th-12th graders.

Academic Purpose: Students will learn about the complex coral reef ecosystem of the Caribbean Sea. They will learn to identify many of the flora and fauna while discovering how they work together to form the reef ecosystems of the ocean.

German Exchange Trip

Contact Person: Kari Kroll,

How often the trip occurs: Yearly, if we have enough students, has sometimes happened every other year.

Dates of trip: Summer - usually the three weeks directly after WHS ends

Overview: Students spend three weeks living in Germany. Although students do not have to take advantage of both opportunities, students are able to host students from Germany for three weeks in March or April and then go live with those students in June. With chaperoning teachers, students take part in activities at the German high school, in and around Dusseldorf and take a longer excursion by train to a different part of Germany. The family stay is at the core of the program, giving students an authentic experience.

Academic Purpose of the trip: Interaction with speakers of German and travel outside of the United States play an important role in learning a language and in understanding another culture. Students gain a broader perspective from which to see their own culture.

Spain Trip

Contact Person: Kristin Lindahl,

How often the trip occurs: Every even-numbered year

Dates of trip: 15 days in June, usually leaving immediately after school ends

Overview: 15 days, seven cities (Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Córdoba, Sevilla, Granada, Costa del Sol) including family stays in Segovia and Granada. Tours of the Prado and Reina Sofía art museums, Bernabéu soccer stadium, Alhambra palace, and various cathedrals, castles, and historic sites. 

Academic Purpose of the trip: This is an excellent opportunity for students to put their language learning into action in an authentic, engaging, environment and continue to develop their intercultural competency through their own lived experiences abroad.