As the foundations of U.S. history were set in Washington DC, this is the perfect place to explore Catholic heritage as well. Discover the first Catholic parish founded in the Federal City of Washington DC, St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Tour the Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which still continue as beautiful symbols of spiritual commitment and tradition. Go on an educational tour at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine through the permanent exhibit, A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II. In Frederick County, visit The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was the first American-born person canonized by the Catholic Church, and celebrate Mass at the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. Experience an immersive journey of Biblical storytelling at the Museum of the Bible, and then visit the woodland sanctuary of the Benedictine monks at St. Anselm's Abbey. Spend time getting to know the local community by participating in a service learning activity with a Catholic charity group.
Engage students in a hands-on learning experience of U.S. history foundations and landmarks. On a tour of the memorials, students are invited to reflect on the sacrifices of brave soldiers who have defended American ideals and freedoms. At the U.S. Capitol Building, see the artistic representations of history in the Crypt, Rotunda and the National Statuary Hall. Go on a journey through the origins of American independence at the National Archives, viewing the Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Encourage students to discover the evolution of U.S. history on a scavenger hunt at the Smithsonian Museums. In Arlington National Cemetery, witness the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Visit the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, to see the statue of six Marines raising the American flag. Explore the Kennedy Center, viewing the bronze bust of the 35th president of the U.S. and seeing the international flags in the Hall of Nations.
Arrive at the U.S. capital, starting off with sightseeing along Embassy Row and stopping for a photo op in front of the White House. Tour the Memorials in the evening and put history lessons into context. Check in to local accommodations, where students stay for the next five nights.
Explore the historical landmarks of the National Mall. Start at the Capitol, taking in grand architecture in the Crypt, Rotunda and National Statuary Hall. Tour Capitol Hill, stopping in at the Visitor Center by appointment, see the Library of Congress and climb the steps of the Supreme Court. View the National Archives to see the documents that U.S. independence and rights are built upon, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Discover history hands-on in a scavenger hunt at the Smithsonian Museums. Before the day is done, visit the nearby St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Go on a campus tour of the Catholic University of America this morning, in the heart of Washington DC. Enter the churches and see the catacombs of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land of America on a guided tour. Take a 20th-century pilgrimage to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine with a tour of the exhibit, A Gift of Love: The Life of Saint John Paul II. Celebrate Mass amongst the beautiful architecture and sacred art of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Visit the Rosary Shrine of St. Jude at St. Dominic’s Church, where the Dominican Friars lead prayers to the saints throughout the year. At Arlington National Cemetery, observe the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and see the Kennedy gravesites. End the day with a stop at the Marine Corps Memorial, also known as the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Spend the morning in Frederick County, starting with a visit to The National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was the first American-born person declared a saint by the Catholic Church. Next, go to the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, walking the gardens, viewing the shrine to Mary and staying to celebrate Mass. Stop in Frederick County to eat lunch during some free time. Return to Washington DC this afternoon to visit the National Cathedral, for an opportunity to reflect amongst the stained glass windows and sculpted gargoyles. In the late afternoon, walk through the Kennedy Center to see the Hall of Nations and the bust of President John F. Kennedy.
Begin the day on an interactive journey through exhibits on Biblical stories at the Museum of the Bible. Afterwards, visit the woodland sanctuary of the Benedictine monks at St. Anselm's Abbey and join them for midday prayer. For the rest of the day, engage in a service learning activity with a Catholic charity group in Washington DC to get to know the local community.
Check out of the hotel in Washington DC and begin the journey home.
On this Washington DC Catholic Heritage program, students gain a deeper understanding of U.S. History and Catholic heritage in America. Give them a firsthand look into U.S. history on tours of the memorials, Capitol Hill, the National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery and the Kennedy Center. Engage students in experiential learning on a scavenger hunt through the Smithsonian Museums. Go on a Catholic pilgrimage in America on visits to shrines, basilicas, monasteries and abbeys in Washington DC and Frederick County. Get students involved in civic engagement within the local Catholic community in a service learning activity. With a curated curriculum for educators to apply with the program, students are empowered to put their learning into practice before, during and after the trip.
Quality, safe hotels with quad occupancy corresponding to the destination.
A night chaperone is on site to ensure security.
All transportation is provided throughout the program.
Airfare covers round-trip flights from major airports.
Two meals are provided daily, breakfast and dinner, featuring local cuisine.
Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.
Scheduled activities, experiences and guided tours are all included.
Full-time Tour Directors are on site for the duration of the trip, for an all-inclusive experience.
Customized experiences developed by travel experts to promote learning and engagement.
Tips for bus drivers, guides, Tour Directors and meals
Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.
Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.
Experience understands there is a growing concern over the COVID-19 outbreak and travel. We are attentively monitoring the situation and following updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Department of State.
Public health authorities are focusing on prevention efforts and actively testing anyone whose symptoms are compatible with COVID-19. It is important to note that for travel and community settings, the CDC reports a low risk of exposure for those who are in the same environment for a prolonged period of time and without close contact as someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Learn more about the CDC Exposure Risk Categories.
To alleviate any uncertainty, Experience is implementing an Upcoming and Future Travel Policy for 2020. This policy allows our programs to adjust their travel dates and plans to provide more flexibility for travelers and relieve any immediate concerns. As the situation evolves, we will remain in contact with group leaders to keep them informed and adjust any travel plans as needed. We want to assure all group leaders, parents and travelers that we will not send programs to destinations that are deemed unsafe by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Department of State. The health and safety of our travelers is of the utmost importance and always a main concern on our educational tours. We will continue to stay informed and safely navigate the situation.