Learning in the World 2023-2024 Programs Announced

With the announcement of the 2023-2024 Learning in the World (LITW) programs, Andover students are offered the opportunity to travel abroad this spring and summer break. LITW incorporates both faculty-led programs and affiliate programs that are organized through partner organizations. As stated by the 2022-2023 LITW Task Force and Advisory Board, selected programs are chosen with the initiative to “[prepare] young students for engaged global citizenship through intercultural, place-based, and world-facing experiential learning opportunities.”

Mark Cutler, Director of LITW and Instructor in Spanish, explained the program selection process and the factors that are considered when planning. Cutler also noted that the programs can be proposed and driven by both faculty and students. 

“If it is faculty-led, the faculty come to me with an idea, we workshop it, and then I take those to a committee that reviews the proposals. It is based on student interest as well; some of the programs we have developed…were presented to me by students. [For] the affiliate programs, generally, that is what comes across my feed in terms of the conferences I go to to learn about different opportunities, but [it is] also people who reach out to establish a partnership,” said Cutler.  

Cutler continued by describing the organization and preparation process for the programs. 

“There’s a committee that approves proposals and there’s a lot of…development opportunities for faculty who are leading programs, where they work with other program leaders to develop a sense of how to run a program. Risk management is one of the big things that goes into it: how to not only mitigate risks but also how to deal with emergent issues, crises, health scares, [and] incidents. Students have winter break to prepare for their programs, get some things in order like visas [and] packing list items,” said Cutler. 

One of many programs featured this year in the LITW curriculum, the Akwaaba Ghana Adventure, allows students to explore the nature, culture, history, and people of Ghana. Led by Lionel Amanfu, Instructor in Mathematics, the program offers a rich insight into the country of Ghana. 

“[Students will] get to go to three interesting locations in Ghana. Our first stop is in Kumasi. There, [students] will experience the rich culture of the Ghanaian people; we get to visit the Ashanti Kingdom Palace, called the [Manhyia] palace. From there, we’ll travel further south to Cape Coast, where the castles were [that the] slaves were kept [in], [there are] two locations. One is Elmina [and] one is called Cape Coast Castle,” said Amanfu.

Amanfu continued, “From there, we’ll go to a place called the Kakum National Park, where they will go through the wildlife and forestry to a huge place in Ghana. There’s an interesting [seven] canopy

walkway, which is, I think, one of the few in the world… From there, we’ll move on to the third city, which is Accra, the capital of Ghana, where they get to experience modern Ghana. We’ll visit the first president Museum, [Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum], and then get a chance to also go through the town of Accra… We’ll end up at the Ghana National Museum, which has all the artifacts from ancient Ghana.”

Last spring break, members of the Phillips Academy Bands and Jazz Bands traveled abroad to Portugal as a part of LITW, performing music while exploring new cultures. Anny Wang ’26 described her experience in Portugal along with her takeaways from the program.

“We not only got to experience different food, architecture, and culture, but we also actually got to speak to local students that are our age. Surprisingly, I found that we share a lot of hobbies in common which I did not expect since we live on different continents. We also shared our interest in music, and when they saw us play, I felt the connection between people from different worlds. It was a very heartwarming experience, and aside from that, I got to know so many more people from the band…on a deeper level,” said Wang. 

As the applications for the 2023-2024 programs have opened, students have been expressing their interest in applying to LITW. Christian Estrada ’27 detailed the appeal of LITW and his wishes to apply in his coming years at Andover.

“It’s very rare for a secondary school to have these sorts of opportunities and I feel like I [can] expand my horizons as a global citizen [through LITW]. Especially in our world…[empathy] towards people from around the world who geographically and culturally have different experiences comes from having a larger set of experiences, and in order to get those larger [sets] of experiences, you need to go outside of the spaces that you’re comfortable in and hear from different perspectives, [and] Learning In the World is a way that students can get out of their comfort zone,” said Estrada. 

 Students can go to to learn about the various programs and initiate an official application by clicking ‘take action.’ December 4 is the deadline for faculty-led program applications and expressions of interest for affiliate programs.