MEI Academy

MEI Academy

MEI International Academy is a school that runs accredited summer and full-semester high school programs throughout Europe and Costa Rica. The academy was founded by history teacher Joe Mei in 1997 and continues to be run by a staff of teachers. All classes are conducted in locations relevant to the course of study in keeping with the objective that education should be an interactive experience. Typical ‘classrooms’ include historical sites, cultural landmarks, museums and galleries.

Spring Semester Program

The spring semester odyssey is MEI’s flagship program. Students spend 80 days traveling through France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Greece, and earn four senior level high school credits. Courses of study include World History, Classical Civilization, English and an Interdisciplinary Studies course called Human Dimensions which integrates philosophical theories, leadership styles and physical well-being. For the first half of the spring semester, students study modern European history in Paris and continue back in time as lessons are conducted in Strasbourg, the Swiss Alps, Heidelberg, Munich, Venice, Florence and Siena. The second half of the semester focuses on ancient civilizations, which begins in Rome and continues through Pompeii, the Peloponnese, Athens and the Greek Islands. The English and Human Dimensions courses run throughout the entire semester, which allows for the integration of the two history courses with literature, writing assignments, philosophy and physical activities.

Summer Programs

MEI Academy offers both one-course and two-course programs in the summer. Trips are 28-40 days in length. All nine summer programs commence in early July.
Program Courses Offered
Costa Rica (San Jose, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Montezuma, Manuel Antonio) Biology, Grade 12 World Issues, Grade 12
English Through The Ages (Paris, London, Lake District, Edinburgh) English, Grade 11 & 12 Studies in Literature, Grade 12, Writer’s Craft, Grade 12
France & Switzerland (Paris, Strasbourg, Swiss Alps, Nice) French: Core, Extended & Immersion, Grade 11 & 12
Spain & France (Barcelona, Costa Brava, Pyrenees, Montpellier, Paris) Spanish: Introductory, Intermediate & Senior Philosophy & English, Grade 12 (2 credits)
Italy (Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice) World History to the Sixteenth Century, Grade 11 Birth of the Modern World, Grade 12, Visual Arts, Grade 12, Complete Art, Grade 12
Greece & Italy (Athens, Peloponnese, Pompeii & Amalfi Coast, Rome) Classical Civilization, Grade 12
Ancient World Odyssey (Istanbul, Rome, Pompeii, Olympia, Peloponnese, Athens, The Nile, Cairo) Classical Civilization & English, Grade 12 (2 credits)
Trek Through Europe (London, Paris, Strasbourg, Swiss Alps, Munich, Prague) World History: The West and the World & English, Grade 12 (2 credits) Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology, & English, Grade 11 (2 Credits)
International Business (Toronto, New York, London, Paris, Strasbourg, Munich) International Business & English, Grade 12 (2 credits)

Philosophy of MEI

MEI Academy is driven by a vision of an ideal high school education. The goal is to teach students to bridge academic study with life experience in order to reach practical conclusions about how they want to live. Teachers encourage students to relate to historical themes on a personal level. Traveling provides a continual opportunity to experience the ethos of other cultures. MEI also emphasizes the importance of community through hikes, games and group dinners. Physical health is a major part of the curriculum, particularly on the semester trip. Each morning the students perform their scheduled workout routine. The routine varies but for the most part includes exercises such as: yoga, jogging, Calisthenics, and competitive sports. The most common sport played is Ultimate Frisbee.


Students commonly report that their MEI trip is about more than just a high school credit or credits; it is a life-changing experience. The friends made and the experiences shared have a lasting impact. The academy encourages alumni to keep in touch after a program has concluded. To that end, MEI hosts post-trip reunions. In 2006, the MEI Games were introduced at the annual fall reunion; programs faced off in a variety of contests, and in the spirit of friendly competition, for a coveted trophy. Given their success, the Games are sure to become an annual event.

See also

External links

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