high school girls riding camels through the Moroccan desert on international trip

Wonder makes people look up at the stars and build rocket ships. It turns a fallen apple into a cosmic lesson. It inspired Socrates, Plato and Einstein. And it inspires our students when they travel abroad. Ultimately it is that wonder–achieved through experiences–that fosters a deeper understanding of self and others through global and civic awareness.

Our mission encourages students to think, create, be yourself, aspire to excellence and go beyond through global travel, grade-level class trips, off-campus coursework, community service days and senior internships.






At the end of the day, everything we do is about people. It’s about children and the kinds of adults they become and how they will impact their families, their communities and the world. Cultural empathy is one of the best ways to grow. Tampa Prep offers several opportunities for students to travel abroad or host international students to assist in this growth.


Snorkel with penguins and sea lions. Walk on beaches with marine iguanas. Straddle the equator. Enjoy the colorful habitat of the pink flamingo. And contemplate life while in the presence of a giant tortoise–the world’s longest living vertebrate. The Galápagos Islands are most famous for the profound discoveries of Charles Darwin. Carry on that scientific tradition as you learn about the unique species that call the islands home. On mainland Ecuador, experience the local culture in Quito and Otavalo. Independence Plaza, the Intinan Museum and one of the country’s biggest Andean markets provide social context to the biological wonders of this fascinating country.

Current parents will find all the details about this trip in the Parent Portal under the Trips and Travel tab.


Enjoy island paradise and rural mountain living during this immersive program. Students will spend time in a mountain village where they’ll live in pairs with a Fijian host family and spend days working on infrastructure projects, and living among the locals. They’ll also visit the nearby village of Somosomo on Naviti Island. 

In keeping with our school mission to “go beyond…with a purpose higher than self,” this trip combines education, adventure, and service. The trip meets the travel requirement for the Global Studies Concentration. Current parents will find all the details about this trip in the Parent Portal under the Trips and Travel tab.


Open to all students currently (2019-2020 school year) in grades 8, 9 and 10

Discover STEM in Iceland on a once-in-a-lifetime school trip. See alternative energy sources in action on a visit to the Hellisheidi Power Station. Taste tomatoes grown year-round in a greenhouse using advanced geothermal technologies and bread made underground using geothermal heat. At the famous Blue Lagoon, feel the warm waters of a geothermal spa against your skin. On excursions to other geothermal areas, learn how locals use hot water from hot springs to heat their homes. Feel the heat bubbling up from the earth on trips to mud pools, hot springs, fumeroles and geysers. See a volcanic crater created by an eruption in 1973 and walk on black basalt-sand beaches built from extinct volcanoes. Stand where two tectonic plates meet and where two continents diverge. On the colder side of iceland, hike across a glacier and taste pure glacial water. Then walk through a cave carved into a glacier to see the layers of ice that tell scientists so much about our climate past.  And, of course, experience the breathtaking beauty of Iceland’s unique landscapes, flora and fauna with hiking trips to waterfalls, outings to pet Icelandic ponies and a ferry trip to an island popular with puffins. The near-midnight sun of June in Iceland will feel like a different world.

Watch this short video for a quick glimpse into the wonders students will experience on this trip. For more details on the specifics of the trip, check out the trip flyer. When you’re ready to sign up, go here. And if you have any additional questions, please reach out to Stacia Hottle (shottle@tampaprep.org) or Ginger Chapman (gchapman@tampaprep.org), the trip coordinators.


Students sitting on ruins in Mexico during international trip

Since 2011, Tampa Prep students have been given the opportunity to travel to Cuernavaca México with Sr. Carreño, a Tampa Prep Spanish teacher and native of Mexico. Students immerse themselves in the language, history and culture of Mexico, while living with a host family and attending local language school to improve their Spanish. After classes, students participate in several educational and recreational trips.


Students riding camels in the Moroccan desert for school trip

In keeping with our school mission to “go beyond…with a higher purpose than self,” this trip combined education, adventure, and service and met the travel requirement for the Global Studies Concentration. Students journeyed across Morocco’s unique and diverse landscape and learned about the people and culture of this beautiful country by volunteering at a village in the high Atlas Mountains, riding across the Sahara Desert on the back of a camel, and visiting the colorful markets of Marrakesh.


Students posing in front of building on international trip to Italy

Rome and Athens are more than just cities, they are living artifacts to explore from every angle. Students saw Rome’s ancient treasures such as the Pantheon, the Forum, the Colosseum, the Vatican and then spent a day in Pompeii. In Greece, students visited Athens, the Acropolis, the sacred site of Delphi, the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Museum, which features artifacts from 550 B.C. On a cruise ship, they saw three Greek Islands: Samos, Crete, and Santorini.



6th grade students standing under the Space Shuttle Atlantis at NASA for class trip

Sixth grade students spend three days touring local Florida sites, including a ropes course and a tour of the Kennedy Space Center.


7th grade students swimming with dolphins in the Florida Keys for class trip

Seventh grade students spend four days exploring and studying wildlife in the Florida Keys. For many students, this is the first time they have spent time away from their families, traveling with peers and trusted chaperones, so it is an opportunity for growth in many ways. The Keys trip is a culmination of the Science 7 curriculum. After studying plant and animal organisms, kingdoms, species and their habitats and characteristics, students interact with these animals in their native environments. Activities include learning about and swimming with dolphins at Dolphins Plus, kayaking through the mangroves at John Pennekamp State Park, visiting the Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key, snorkeling in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and taking an airboat ride through the Florida Everglades.


8th Grade Tampa Prep trip to Boston

Eighth grade students spend four days touring New England, tracing the roots of the American Revolution by walking Boston’s historic Freedom Trail. Major stops include Bunker Hill, Old North Church and Paul Revere’s home. Students visit the towns of Lexington and Concord where the first battles were fought, and take time for reflection at Walden Pond where Henry David Thoreau wrote his masterpiece, Walden. In the town of Salem, students visit the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Witch Memorial and the spooky House of the Seven Gables. On the last day of the trip, they are transported to the year 1627 and live the life of a pilgrim at Plymouth Plantation.


The Junior Class trip to the picturesque mountains of Pisgah help develop skills not necessarily formed or tested in the classroom, moving juniors outside of their comfort zones to grow physically, mentally and emotionally. Students work together to cook meals, put up tents, follow trails, build campfires and rock climb. They begin the school year with new friends and a deeper bond from their shared experience.

Junior Class at Pisgah National Forest for class trip


Successful completion of the Senior Internship Program is a requirement of graduation.

Starting in January, seniors are counseled through the process of finding and preparing for local business internships. They must intern for a total of 70 hours (less 10 hours for each AP class being taken), for the final three weeks of the school year. As a way to document their experience and newfound knowledge, seniors blog each week of their internship.

The process of preparing a resume, interviewing for a job and being punctual and responsible in the workplace is invaluable for students as they enter college and, eventually, the workforce.

With so many native Spanish speakers in Tampa, students immerse themselves in an Aprendizaje–an internship with a spanish-speaking business.

Spanish teacher Mary Beth Hill began her “Aprendizaje” project in 2010. With so many native Spanish speakers in Tampa, Mrs. Hill saw an opportunity for her students to immerse themselves in those cultural pockets within the community.

As the culminating project in her Language and Culture class, students must seek out and arrange a half day internship (about 4-5 hours, or longer if they choose) in a Spanish-speaking environment. Students have worked in law offices, restaurants, television stations, construction sites, bakeries and even refereed on soccer fields. The immersion experience forces students outside of their comfort zones and “school Spanish,” and often they realize that they understand and can communicate much more easily than they imagined. Even better, Mrs. Hill says, “This opportunity creates ties to and partnerships with our Spanish-speaking community as well. The hosts have always been welcoming and very supportive of the initiative!”

Tampa Prep student standing at Telemundo TV news desk during an internship

Upper School Chorus students travel to Nashville to record in famous Studio B.

Chorus students in Nashville, TN

During this trip, students gained valuable professional experiences and:

  • Observed a rehearsal of Dr. Jeffrey Ames, choral director at Belmont University, with his college choir “Chorale,” attended a workshop with him, toured the Belmont campus and received feedback from Dr. Ames for their upcoming recording session.
  • Went on a backstage tour to learn historical events for country music at the Grand Ole Opry then performed at the Grand Ole Opry in front of a large crowd.
  • Performed in the Ryman Auditorium and toured the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The trip ended with an hour-long recording session in the famed Studio B where the students recorded five songs including our alma mater, which brought sniffles from our seniors. For the recording, Chorus teacher Mr. Hoy played on the same piano on which Elvis played long ago.


Hosting a student from another country in a cultural exchange is a wonderful experience. Being a host family creates memories and international friends for a lifetime. There is no model host family or host home. You can live in Tampa or outside of Tampa; in a house, apartment or condo; have one or two students at Tampa Prep; eat out or cook at home and have a busy or relaxed lifestyle. The only requirement is that you want to share your home and culture with another person. These hosting opportunities qualify for the Global Studies Concentration requirement, but are open to any interested Tampa Prep families.