A Pre-K to Grade 12 Independent Quaker Day School Serving the Greater Durham-Chapel Hill Area

Global & Experiential Learning

Through action and reflection, we help our students grow into their global citizenship.

Whether it’s Early Schoolers experiencing aircraft up close at a nearby airport, Lower School students spending the night at a planetarium, or Middle Schoolers meeting with local entrepreneurs to discuss sustainable business models, Carolina Friends School students of all ages venture beyond the boundaries of campus to explore the wider world.

These learning adventures take their fullest form in the Upper School End-of-Year Experience — among the most distinctive dimensions of a CFS education. Typically spanning two weeks, these experiences range from scientific exploration in the rainforests of Peru to hiking the deserts of the American West, to travels in Nicaragua or the Adirondacks for a mix of research, service, and adventure. Closer to home, students complete internships like shadowing an architect, assisting in a university lab, or working with the EPA.

For over ten years, each April our Freshmen have traveled to Newton Grove, North Carolina for ten days of service and community building with migrant families through the Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry. For students in subsequent years, their destinations reflect their personal interests, whether local or international. Many students find their long-term goals shaped by what they see and do. All encounter a rare chance to grow in confidence, self-understanding, and awareness of others.

Many schools offer travel and experiential learning, but we provide these opportunities to all of our students. We focus on substantive fieldwork, not just tourism. And we connect that work explicitly with our curriculum. Tom Anderson, Head of Upper School