Saints off the Hill

Student Travel Opportunities for Spring/Summer 2020

Over the past 3 decades, Canterbury has offered its students various domestic and international travel opportunities. The goals of these offerings are manifold: to expand horizons, expose students to different points of view, build upon the classroom experience, walk in others’ shoes, and to foment understanding, empathy, and interconnectedness.

Our longest-running trip offering is the annual service pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, which began in 1992. In Lourdes, students work with volunteers from all over the world in order to serve the malades (people who are ill) who travel there for physical and spiritual healing. The trip to Nicaragua is another long-standing travel and service opportunity for students in Fifth and Sixth Form. Since the first trip in 2004, students have come away with invaluable experiences and new perspectives through volunteering with the Fabretto Children’s Foundation. Once stateside, with a new set of eyes, students have an invigorated sense of desire to serve others.

Some of the travel experiences that Canterbury offers are an extension of the classroom. The San Cayetano Exchange and The Canterbury Institute—travel programs in different regions in Spain—give our Spanish students the opportunity to live and learn while immersed in the language and culture of the host country. Canterbury Spanish students gain more through travel by experiencing first-hand what they have learned in the classroom. For example, they deepen their cultural understanding by eating Spanish foods on the Spanish schedule. Canterbury students are able to experience the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feel of a place to truly learn about and connect with it. Canterbury students attend classes and then go out and use what they have learned while immersed in the culture. Linguistically, the benefits cannot be underestimated. 

New offerings in 2019 were the National Parks and Israel trips. In a similar fashion, with our new travel offerings to visit national parks, we hope to give our students a better understanding of the natural world and of different cultures and people.

Whenever possible, we plan to connect with our vast web of Canterbury alumni from around the world that may be in the area we are visiting.

Offerings may rotate and vary every year. Check back each August to see the upcoming year’s line-up of offerings.  

Explore Upcoming Trips

March 6–16, 2020 – Canterbury Pilgrimage to Israel and the Holy Land

March 6–16, 2020

Canterbury Pilgrimage to Israel and the Holy Land

Canterbury students and two faculty chaperones will travel to Israel for ten days of exploration and learning. The group will visit several holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Basilica of the Nativity, among others. In addition, the group will swim in the Dead Sea, visit the Sea of Galilee, take a dip in the Mediterranean, and visit a real oasis! The trip will run from March 6–16, 2020.

Cost: Approximately $4,500 
Contact: Matt Glaser, Julio Omaña 

2019 Trip Photos

Trip Brochure

June 7–20, 2020 – Saints Walk El Camino in Spain

June 7–20, 2020

Saints Walk El Camino in Spain

Science teacher Sally Ruderman walked El Camino the summer before starting teaching at Canterbury. El Camino is a traditional Catholic pilgrimage to Santiago—the city of St. James (where his body is buried). Christians have been making this pilgrimage for close to 1300 years. The complete walk begins in France and covers over 900km; Canterbury Saints will have the opportunity to cover the last 100km of the journey to Santiago. Canterbury students will begin their walking trip in Sarria, and will be eligible to receive a Compostela (certificate of completion) once in Santiago for covering over 100km of the trip. Students will have the opportunity to meet pilgrims and travelers from all over the world and share the journey. The group will also spend several days sight-seeing in Santiago and visit the city’s Cathedral and the gravesite of St. James. The last portion of the trip is to walk for four more days from Santiago to the coast at Finisterre (“the end of the world”). The trail marker in Finisterre reads 0.0km and the journey is truly complete.

Additional information to come.


June 7–24, 2020 – Canterbury Institute in Spain

June 7–24, 2020

Canterbury Institute in Spain

This is an academic and homestay experience for Canterbury students. Students travel to Barcelona and then head to Puigcerdà in the Cerdanya region of northern Spain, which lies in the Pyrenees, on the border with France. The students stay with Spanish host families, go to classes each weekday morning, and participate in afternoon activities in the surrounding region (hiking, mountain biking, ropes course, pastry making class and bread making workshop are examples). Students will eat meals at their host homes.

Approximate cost: $3,800 (includes airfare, transportation, afternoon excursions, museum fees, weekend excursion to Girona, Figueres and Catalan coast, three nights in Barcelona) 

Contact: Julio Omaña

Application deadline: Please fill-out the application and personal profile and hand in to Mr. Omaña, along with deposit check, by the end of Winter Weekend, February 5. 

Payment deadline: Initial $1,500 deposit due upon return from Winter Weekend, February 5, along with application and personal profile form. Second payment of $1,500, due March 1 or start of March Break. Balance due April 1, or end of March Break.

Help us match you with your host family by filling out the application below.
(Click the button below to download, fill-out and submit with your deposit.)



Institute FAQs

Trip Brochure

August 2020 – Pilgrimage to Lourdes, France


August 2020

Ten-day service trip to Lourdes, France 

This is a ten-day service trip to Lourdes, France. Canterbury students and faculty work with other volunteers from Italy, France, Spain, England and Ireland. They help malades (re: sick) who travel to Lourdes to bathe in its healing waters. This pilgrimage started in 1994 and has run consecutively until the present. It is chaperoned by retired teachers Guy and Viv Simonelli, Language teacher Julio Omaña, and Theology teacher Tracy Garcia LaVigne. This is Canterbury’s longest-running trip offering. This trip is run by Our Lady’s Pilgrimage (OLP), a non-profit organization led by Hope Carter, former parent, grandparent, and President of Canterbury’s Board of Trustees. This service opportunity is offered to Canterbury students of all grades, even recently graduated Saints.


For more information about Lourdes:
To register, make payments or learn more about this trip:
Cost: Approximately $3,200 (Scholarships available)
Contact: Julio Omaña ( Tracy Garcia-LaVigne (

application deadline: TBD
payment deadline:

Payments made through OLP website
$1,600 deposit
due March 1
$1,600 balance due April 1 

Trip Brochure
Travel Permission Form
Medical and Waiver Forms
Packing List

August 2020 – Montana Leadership Trip

August 2020

Montana Leadership Trip 

A ten day leadership training trip sponsored and led by trustee John ‘59 and Dana Donovan. The trip, open to select rising Sixth Formers, brings students to Glacier National Park and surrounding area to learn about the natural environment of the American West. Students meet with members of the Blackfeet tribe to learn about native culture, explore the politics and social ramifications of the wolf population, and gain valuable outdoor adventure skills. The program encourages students to return to campus as ambassadors of conservationism.


Approximate cost: Airfare, $500  

Contacts: Meredith Berry-Toon (, Drew Houghtalen (, Jake Dellorco (

Application happens through Office of Student Life

August 18–September 24, 2020 – Canterbury – San Cayetano Cultural Exchange

August 18 – September 24, 2020 

Canterbury-San Cayetano Cultural Exchange

A five-week family-to-family exchange. Canterbury students travel and live with a Spanish family on the island of Mallorca. In turn, Spanish students come to New Milford to live with their Canterbury host family. Canterbury students travel and live in Mallorca at the end of summer in to the start of the school year. Students from Colegio San Cayetano come to the US in mid October and stay through Thanksgiving. 


Approximate Cost: Between $1,600 - $2,000 (includes airfare, travel to and from airport, spending $) 

Contact: Julio Omaña ( 

Application deadline: 

Payment deadline: Checks made out to Canterbury School. $1,600 deposit due March 1. $1,600 balance due April 1.  

36 Hours in Mallorca 

Read more about the San Cayetano Exchange