You feel the excitement building each spring as students and faculty make their preparations for Interim, a weeklong program of experiential learning in March.
On Interim, you'll expand your intellectual, cultural and social horizons beyond the classroom. Some groups stay close to campus and some cross international borders, but all immerse themselves in learning-by-doing journeys. Experiences gained and friendships forged on Interim provide some of the richest memories students carry with them from Fountain Valley.
Each Interim experience reflects the School's core values of courage, compassion, open-mindedness, curiosity and self-reliance.
Past Interim Adventures
List of 19 items.
Alaska, the Unknown Frontier
Hike a glacier, mingle with Alaska wildlife and learn about the enduring lifestyle of the Alaska Native population. Explore the links between sustainable living, environmental preservation and animal conservation. Tailgate on top of a frozen lake as you watch the start of the famous Iditarod sled dog race.
Andros Island: Explorations in Tropical and Marine Science
Andros Island in the Bahamas has a 140-mile coral reef considered to be the most diverse and pristine reef in the world. From the base at Forfar Field Station, a research facility, learn about marine biology and ecology through land and water excursions. Snorkel in a cay, blue hole or patch reef, and explore the geographic wonders of the island.
Animals, art and exploration are the focus of this trip and include a behind-the-scenes visit to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and a trip to the Wolf and Wildlife Center. Learn the basics of fly-fishing and spend a day with an artist who will help you channel the surrounding natural beauty.
Hiking Slickhorn Canyon is entering an Ancestral Puebloan museum with cliff dwellings, pottery and petroglyphs more than 750 years old. Explore the world of these ancient peoples while backpacking in this spectacular, remote canyon.
Explore both the lush jungle and marine ecosystems of Belize. Tobacco Caye, a remote sandbar in the marine reserve, has the second largest reef in the world where you will spend days in or on the water, snorkeling and kayaking. Visit the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics and stoneware. Learn about the Mola style of art and create your own.
Paddle on the Green River through sheer, colorful sandstone walls hundreds of feet high. Explore the unique desert ecosystem and hike to ancient Anasazi petroglyphs. Learn about the geology and natural and human history in this timeless landscape.
Foodies unite in this exploration of cooking and cuisine. Develop cooking skills, gain an appreciation for slow food, practice eating mindfully and learn the impact of food choices on the environment. Visit local restaurants, a farm, a spice store and a cooking school, then put your new skills to the test in a cooking challenge judged by local foodies.
Discover the joys of fly fishing as you learn to master techniques, read water and understand trout ecosystems. Fish in the famed Arkansas Headwaters and next spend three days on a drift boat on the San Juan River floating over tens of thousands of trout. You’ll also team up with local organizations to engage in conservation efforts.
Your Spanish language skills come alive in the beautiful city of Guanajuato. Discover the social, political and economic reality of Mexico through a wide range of activities. Wander through the Spanish colonial-style streets, become an elementary school teacher for a day, learn to cook and salsa dance. Attend three hours of language class each day, a short walk from your homestay.
Follow in the ski tracks of the 10th Mountain Division who trained in the Colorado high country before fighting in the Alps during World War II. You will ski to and stay at both Vance’s Cabin and the 10th Mountain Division Hut in the Sawatch Range. In a culminating challenge, you will skin up and ski down Homestake Peak on the Continental Divide.
Kayaking Florida’s Greatest Rivers, Swamps and Springs
Explore the beautiful waters of north-central Florida and southern Georgia. Camp out in the woods near the historic Suwannee River and spend your days paddling, swimming and exploring. See vestiges of Civil War history and abundant wildlife to include alligators, manatees, turtles and raptors.
While exploring Dublin, learn to navigate the city while competing in a scavenger hunt where your team’s knowledge of Irish writers, performers and history will be in your favor. Learn traditional Irish dancing and find writing inspiration hiking the scenic coast of Country Claire. Confront Ireland’s tumultuous past and debate modern topics on immigration and nationalism.
Step back in time by traveling to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the Royal Shakespeare Theater and visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. See a production at the Globe Theatre and participate in an acting workshop. See Les Miserables and tour backstage. Five productions in a variety of venues provide a broad view of British theater — all while experiencing the food, sights, museums, and history that this legendary country has to offer.
Ride along the white rim layer of sandstone in Canyonlands National Park with dramatic canyons below and majestic red rock cliffs above. The trail leads to arches, towers and other fantastic rock formations. Visit an ancient Indian dwelling, trek into a slot canyon and hike in the famous Arches National Park.
Join this grassroots volunteer organization that adopted three disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic. Teach English to elementary students with fun and creative activities. Visit the famous salt flats and the Maximo Gomez Museum. Enjoy the sand and waves at El Morro Beach and taste delicious, traditional Dominican cuisine.
Fly into Cusco and explore this unique town and its ancient ruins while acclimating to the altitude. Investigate how the town is changing with globalism and tourism. Then it’s off to Machu Picchu, backpacking and sleeping under the stars for four days, eventually reaching the breathtaking World Heritage site.
Travel to the South and see American history come to life by visiting places important to the Civil Rights Movement, as well as key locations that led to the blending of races through music. Enjoy blues, soul music, barbecue and Southern cuisine in Memphis, Clarksdale and Nashville. Sleep in sharecropper shacks and dance at a juke joint. Stomp your boots at the Grand Ole Opry and give back to the local community working with Habitat for Humanity.
Take a close look at those who live off the land by exploring ranches and farms, and take a step back to examine long-ago pioneers of the Gold Rush era. Get your hands dirty riding horses, working with livestock, and learning to weld. Gain insight into the historical context and modern-day application of working with the land.
Home base is the Keystone Science School where you spend days in the field learning forest ecology, digging snow pits to study the snowpack, discussing avalanche science, and delving into alpine weather and climate. Navigate the snowy landscape on cross-country skis and wind up the trip at the Mountain Campus.