At St. Michael's, we believe that foreign exchange programs, international study, working internships, immersive and experiential coursework, and service to the less fortunate in the US and overseas have life-changing potential. To further our commitment to building personal growth and advancing the school's mission, we have launched the St. Michael's Winter Term Program, a unique academic, cultural, service, travel, and language immersion program now in its second year. 

St. Michael's was the first college preparatory school in Austin to institute a Winter Term of specialized study.

In addition to the multi-cultural explorations embedded in our curriculum, St. Michael's students have the opportunity to experience firsthand the people, environments, and distinct ways of life in specially selected countries and programs. Each Global Learning trip includes language and culture study, home-stays, and sightseeing. Whether hosting or traveling, our students experience firsthand the distinct and exciting cultures of the world in which they live.   

It is our hope that the Winter Term Program inspires students to become increasingly active, informed, and responsible members of the international community.


List of 4 items.


    Winter Term is a three-week course of study in January during which students immerse themselves in a topic, subject area, or experience not offered through the traditional curriculum. It is a time for students to expand their intellectual and personal horizons and explore the world outside of the classroom. 

    For example, students might study Christian mysticism in Rome, delve into the history of naval warfare, explore a career as an architect through an onsite internship, or teach impoverished children in India how to plant a garden. The goal of Winter Term is for students to form new relationships with faculty and classmates and develop new perspectives on education, the world, themselves, and their spirituality through immersive and experiential learning.

    Too often, schools devolve into a series of classes designed to build a transcript and bolster a student’s resume to be competitive for the college of his or her choice.  There are many courses that comprise an academic foundation and represent our core academic experience. Electives enrich this core experience but are limited by the structure and timeline of the weekly course schedule and academic calendar.  The Winter Term provides students with the opportunity to expand awareness of themselves and the world around them through immersive and intensive learning experiences that are not available in the regular curriculum. This initiative reflects a St. Michael’s ongoing effort to enrich our students’ academic experiences and embrace a holistic approach to educating each student.  
    All of our students are individuals with talents, interests, and goals that are unique and should be explored, tested, and celebrated. Schools should be places of insatiable curiosity, discovery, and personal growth. We believe that the addition of a Winter Term has further developed those qualities in our students. More specifically, Winter Term affords our students the opportunity to:
    • pursue or discover academic passions outside of the standard curriculum;
    • benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our entire faculty, especially through interdisciplinary study, such as courses co-taught by Science and Theology faculty;
    • grow in compassion and social awareness through extended service learning opportunities;
    • deepen their faith through an academic or experiential encounter with spirituality;
    • travel globally for language and cultural immersion;
    • develop hands-on skills and interests through field-based and experiential courses; 
    • foster creativity and artistic expression.

    Winter Term is scheduled for January 8-25, 2019, immediately following Christmas break. Students will earn 0.5 elective credits per year for Winter Term by completing mini-courses, an internship, or overseas language, culture, or service opportunity. 

    • Mini courses:  These specialty classes are primarily taught by our faculty members but may involve guest teaching by local professionals.  Courses address topics that are substantive and academically rigorous, but do not quite fit into the traditional curriculum. Courses are considered academic or experiential – students may choose two courses from each category over their high school career.
    • Internships:  The internship is designed to allow to students to investigate areas of interest for further study in college and pursuit as potential careers. Students will research, interview, and work with staff to find an appropriate placement in a setting of their choice. Students will write a reflection of their experience and may be asked to share their findings within the broader school community upon successful completion of the internship and reflection.  
    • Foreign Language, Cultural Immersion, and Service Opportunities:  These exchange and travel programs coordinated by our Center for International Studies provide students with the opportunity to immerse themselves culturally and linguistically.  In an exchange, students attend school in another country and stay with a local host family. The students will also be expected to host a foreign student who attends St. Michael’s at a different time of the year.  A second global opportunity offers students the chance to grow in compassion and awareness through service.  Finally, students may choose an academic course taught by a St. Michael’s teacher in a setting outside the United States. 

    Foreign Language, Cultural Immersion, and Service Opportunities are listed below. 
    MADRID, SPAIN with day trip to Toledo and three-day side trip to Andalucia
    15-17 days
    Cost: $2,500

    Student exchange with our sister school, Highlands El Encinar. In Madrid, students will have the opportunity to experience school life by attending classes. Students who participate in this exchange will have the opportunity to host a Spanish student from Highlands in the fall of 2019. In Madrid, students will stay with an exchange student’s family. Students will have the opportunity to improve their Spanish and make lifelong friends. Outside of school, students will go on excursions, including the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor and more! Students will also have the opportunity to see southern Spain with a trip to Andalucia and the city of Cordoba.
    ANGERS, FRANCE with day trip to Mont St. Michel and two days in Paris 
    12 days
    Cost: $2,500
    Student exchange with our sister school St. Agnes in Angers, France. Students will visit the school and explore the many cultural hotspots seated in the heart of the Loire Valley. In Angers, students will experience the splendor of the Chateau D’Angers, visit city hall with a warm welcome from city officials, celebrate Mass at the Cathedral, and more. The trip also includes a day trip to Mont. St. Michel and two days in Paris. In Paris, students will have to opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more. Those who go on this exchange will host a French student who will come to SMCA in fall 2019.
    10 days
    Cost: $2,500
    This trip is being offered in partnership with International Samaritan, a non-profit organization. Its mission is to alleviate poverty in “garbage dump communities” across the globe and raise awareness about the living conditions of the poor in the developing world. Students will stay at a retreat center near Managua. During the day, International Samaritan’s volunteers generally spend time at the Jose Artigas School in the community of Ciudad Sandino outside of Managua. Typical volunteer work may include: building homes for families, construction projects, or assisting in the classroom and helping students to learn English and other subjects. Volunteers may also work with local community members to construct new classrooms and improve the school environment.
    7 days
    Cost: $2,999
    See the Pope! Students will participate in World Youth Day. Students will have an opportunity to meet Catholic youth from all over the world and share their faith with one another. Activities include daily catechetical sessions with bishops, walking pilgrimages, music, and more. Pope Francis will be in attendance and students will have the opportunity to participate in a Mass celebrated by the Pope.
    14 days
    Cost: $3,800
    Students will stay at a mission in Ecuador and teach English to the children at the mission school. Students will also get a chance to see life at the mission, a self-sustaining facility feeding many in and around the town. In addition to service work, students will also get the chance to tour the ecosystem of Ecuador with its mountains, beaches and forest, including sightseeing in the city of Guayaquil.
    12 DAYS
    Cost: $4,300
    Study the myths. Study the legends. Right in the country where they originated--Greece. Students will discover the wonder of Greece. See Delphi where the oracle foretold of the future. See Athens, the birthplace of Western Civilization. Olympus! Sure to be an unforgettable experience for all students involved. 
    Students are responsible for all costs associated with travel.  Questions with regard to our Winter Term Global Opportunities may be directed to Carlon Haas at
International Travel: Carlon Haas
Mini-Courses: Heidi Sloan
Internships: Shannon Hudson

List of 2 members.

  • Carlon Haas 

    Director of International Programs
    The University of Texas at Austin - B.A
  • Mrs. Heidi Sloan 

    Director of Academics
    Kennesaw State University - B.S.
    Furman University - B.A.