GPS Trips

The 2020 Global Pathways Spring program (GPS) will be the thirty second year of providing service-learning and cultural exchange opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and patrons who have a desire to learn about another culture and to live responsibly as global citizens. Reverend Tom Steffen, the former Dean of the Chapel, developed the Spring Break in Mission program over thirty years ago and this program is one of his remarkable legacies. In October 2012 the name changed from Spring Break in Mission to Global Pathways Spring program (GPS) to better reflect the broad cultural and humanitarian reach of the trips.

There have been trips to nine states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and thirty-four countries. 

Names are currently being accepted for the trips and should be sent to the adults listed for each trip.  Beginning on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 the $500 non-refundable deposit will be accepted online. 

GPS Online Payment

The deposit is needed to secure a place on the individual mission trips and space is limited. After December 6, 2019 students and/or parents that cancel their participation in a trip (after their deposit is paid) will be responsible for the remaining balance of their trip. Students that are applying for scholarships for one of these trips and can only participate if they earn a scholarship do not need to place a deposit. 

The remaining balance for the cost of these trips is due on Friday, February 7, 2020.

GPS Scholarships

There will be multiple scholarship opportunities for both CGA and CMA students for the 2020 GPS trips. Please complete the scholarship application below for consideration. 

GPS Scholarships can be found on Student Portal

The essay and application must be completed by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 18. A panel of judges will read the essays and winners of the scholarships will be determined by the results of the essay, application and the specific scholarship criteria. 

2020 Trips

England & Scotland

March 19–30, 2020

Team Great Britain will spend eleven days on the island that is Great Britain, from England in the south to Scotland in the north. Your journey begins in the fascinating capital of London with its magnificent skyline of ancient and modern architecture, which you will admire from a ride on the London Eye. Through your tours of the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament history will come alive. A ticket to an evening theatre performance or musical is included. From London you will head west to Avebury to learn about a pre-historic stone circle with an afternoon in nearby Bath for lunch and a walking tour, including entrance to the ancient Roman baths. That night will be spent in an 800 year old castle (converted into a youth hostel) near the Welsh border. The next day will bring you to Stratford-upon-Avon and its sites related to William Shakespeare, the world famous playwright. As you continue north to York, you will have a day to explore this charming old city with its famous Minster. Stop at Hadrian’s Wall, marking roughly the border between England and Scotland, built in AD 122 to separate the barbarians from the Romans. Arrive in Edinburgh for a four-night stay with a special Taste of Scotland dinner of music and dancing and a chance to try haggis, the national dish. Explore Edinburgh’s Castle, the Royal Mile, the National Museum, St. Giles Church and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Queen Elizabeth’s official residence in Scotland. Also enjoy a scenic full-day out of the city to Stirling and Loch Lomond, the southern border of the Highlands. Admire the views from a one-hour lake cruise. Learn how the relatively small countries of England and Scotland have influenced each other and the world through their explorers, inventors, writers, etc.  Please note that there will be only five openings available for students that require a visa for the UK.

Contact Dean Lynn Rasch (Lynn.Rasch@culver.org) or Mr. Matt Behling (Matthew.Behling@culver.org) or Jill Behling (Jill.Behling@culver.org) or Mark Waller (Mark.Waller@culver.org) for more information.

Estimated cost: $4,955



March 20-30, 2020

The Basque Regions of Spain and France where the sea meets the mountains are rich in history, fine cuisine and wonderful people, not to mention the amazing places that we will be visiting on our voyage of discovery! Consider the ultra-modern Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao contrasted with that historic city’s architecture.! Retrace the footsteps of your favourite Game of Thrones characters in San Juan Gaztelugatxe, an ancient island fortress connected by a man-made bridge on the Bay of Biscay. San Sebastian is one of the most enchanting cities in the Basque Region and is home to the Basque Culinary Center, featured in Master Chef competitions. The old section of town comes alive in the late afternoon as folks go from place to place to meet their friends and sample their favourite pintxos/tapas. Paris is Paris, but Bordeaux IS France! We will be spending 3 nights in this magnificent city which has been designated a UNESCO Heritage site. Here we will tour the city’s beautiful buildings, learn about the history of the Aquitaine, do some shopping and visit an enormous WWll German Submarine bunker.  Sample the cuisines of this entire region and stroll through markets before putting on your aprons to prepare your lunch at the finest Chef’s School in San Sebastian, Spain and again in Toulouse, France.  Connect with students at schools in both countries and practice your Spanish and French language skills, while they practice their English and teach you a little Euskara, the ancient Basque language still spoken in the region. Enjoy a day on the beach and climb the tallest Sand Dune in Europe at the Dune de Pilat!  If time allows, we will visit Carcassone an ancient medieval city outside of Toulouse. You will return energized by all you have experienced and excited to share your adventures with family and friends! Join us on this amazing adventure, 2 countries, yet so many cultures! PLEASE NOTEStudents who require a visa to enter the European Union may not be eligible for this trip.

Contact Mrs. Dorothea Ragsdale (Dorothea.Ragsdale@culver.org) for more information.

Estimated cost: $4,500



Educational / Cultural
March 20-30, 2020

Students participating in the cultural immersion to Italy will quickly see why the Italians are so renowned for their art, culture, food, and fashion. Spanning from the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans through the development of modern Europe, Italy possesses an incredibly rich and fascinating history. When visiting Paestum, students will see the influence that early Greek settlers had on the Italian mainland. When visiting Sperlonga, students will experience the grandeur of the mighty Roman Empire while strolling the grounds of Emperor Tiberius’ summer villa along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. With Mount Vesuvius shadowing the horizon, students will walk the famous streets of Herculaneum which was destroyed by Vesuvius’ pyroclastic flows in 79 C.E. While staying in the Palazzo Leti in Spoleto, students will get a solid understanding of medieval life during the 13th and 14th centuries. Additionally, students will participate in cooking lessons, Italian language and culture instruction, and dine in a variety of local restaurants that specialize in regional fare. When venturing out of Spoleto to explore the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, students will visit the vibrant cities of Assisi, Siena, and Orvieto. PLEASE NOTE: Students who require a special visa to enter Italy will not be eligible for this trip.

Contact Mr. Strati (Andrew.Strati@culver.org), Mrs. Strati (Rebecca.strati@culver.org ), Mrs. Eaton (Shalena.eaton@culver.org ), or Mr. Eaton ( oliver.eaton@culver.org ) for more information.

Estimated price: $4800



Construction/Community Service/Cultural
March 20-28, 2020

The Global Pathways Spring trip to Mexico, Building Bridges, is the perfect combination of work and cultural learning. This Spring Break will be our 16th year building homes for families who have never had their own home.  As part of our Love Without Borders Outreach Program, we collaborate with local schools in the communities where we build our Culver homes.  Our students interact with the children and community and provide backpacks, athletic shoes, school supplies and athletic equipment.  Over the years, we have built over sixty homes for families whose lives will forever be transformed.  There is also time for recreational activities where we enjoy the beach and pool, the release of baby sea turtles at sunset and sharing wonderful meals on the beach. If adventure, team building relationships and giving back to making the world a better place is in your blood, join Team Mexico

Contact Mr. Dana Neer (Dana.Neer@Culver.org) for more information.

Estimated cost: $4,000.


Puerto Rico

March 20-30, 2020

Are you looking for a Spring Break experience with fun in the sun? Want a trip that is fun, but also helps the local people? Want to visit an actual rain forest? Want to travel without having to get a visa? Then Puerto Rico is the trip for you! The island of Puerto Rico is 3,515 sq. miles and home to over 3 million Americans. We will do our best to see as much of it as we can! The trip will focus on service, research, interaction with local students, exploration of unique sites, hiking in the rain forest, and relaxing on the beach. Puerto Rico is still in recovery from a devastating hurricane in 2017. Many of the service and research projects planned for this trip will help us learn more and assist with the recovery effort. The tentative itinerary includes: painting and cleaning in a local community garden; lunch with local families; bioluminescent bay tour; work alongside scientists to learn and participate in a rain forest reforestation program; tour the El Morro and San Cristobal Forts on the coast; Los Morillos Lighthouse; tour new and Old San Juan cities; hike and sightsee in the El Yunque rainforest where you will see plants, animals, and waterfalls; and eat as much local food as time and budget will allow!

Contact Mr. Ibrahim Fetuga (Ibrahim.Fetuga@culver.org) for more information.

Estimated cost: $4,400



March 20-31, 2020

In connection with Culver’s Leadership Committee for Africa (LCA), team Tanzania will engage in a cross-cultural experience of learning, living, and sharing with students and faculty at The School of St. Jude in Arusha, Tanzania. The School of St. Jude’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty through education.  They are able to provide free education to the poorest and brightest students in Arusha through generous donations. Prior to the trip, students will actively help collect and organize donation items as well as attend team meetings to prepare. Once in Tanzania, the team will stay in guest housing on campus and will work with the primary school students and teachers during their stay. Other aspects of the trip will include a cultural excursion to a Maasai Boma (one of the local tribes), Swahili lessons, and other cultural activities- the trip will conclude by going on safari.  Students are required to attend an introductory Tanzania team meeting, agree to the trip contract, and be active members of LCA prior to making a deposit.  

Contact Mrs. Strobel (Angie.Strobel@culver.org) for more information.

 Estimated cost: $4,300


The $500 non-refundable deposit is what holds a student’s place on a GPS trip.  However, many of these trips will sell out quickly once we open the payment site on Sept. 18, 2019 at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard Time.  The payment link will be located at www.culver.org/gps at the bottom of the website page.  If a specific GPS trip sells out, students may transfer their deposit to another 2019 GPS trip.  If there is not another trip that they wish to transfer to, then the deposit will be placed into the student’s tuition account.  After Monday, December 6, 2019, students and/or parents that cancel their participation in a trip (after their non-refundable deposit has been paid) will be responsible for any remaining balance of their trip. This financial responsibility applies to students who withdraw, are dismissed, or have medical conditions that prohibit them from participating in the GPS trip. Parents are encouraged to consider trip insurance for the GPS trips.  The prices listed for each trip are estimated prices. The price of these trips may change if the airline fares or airline surcharges increase, the US dollar weakens or the total number of registrants falls below the budgeted amount for a specific trip.  The full balance for the cost of each GPS trip is due Friday, February 7, 2020.