Global Education

NCS supports a range of international activities to strengthen students' understanding, knowledge, and respect for other countries and cultures within our diverse global community.
This is accomplished through programming in four areas:
  1. International exchange programs and trips providing first-hand contact with other cultures and peoples
  2. Unique student research fellowships that encourage students to explore an interest area abroad
  3. Co-curricular programs in both the NCS and D.C. communities to enhance global understanding
  4. NCS is a participant in the Penn Global Education Forum, sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.


List of 5 items.

  • London: St. Paul's Girls' School Exchange

    For more than 25 years, NCS has participated in an exchange for 9th-grade students with St. Paul's Girls' School (SPGS) in London. This long-standing tradition has created lasting relationships "across the pond." Each spring, St. Paul's students visit D.C. and spend mornings in NCS classes and afternoons exploring the District. In June, NCS students travel to London for a week to visit classes, explore the British capital, and stay with their host families. The exchange is a cherished NCS tradition for our 9th-graders, and we are thrilled to continue this partnership with St. Paul's year after year.
    A unique curriculum is developed jointly each year by NCS and SPGS faculty and staff. The program engages students around a major global issue, which they explore through readings, discussion, and interactions with local communities and organizations in Washington and London. The program is offered every year to the 9th-grade class; creating a community of scholars who lead and shape discussions on global issues throughout their years at NCS.
  • Paris: Lycée Stanislas Exchange

    NCS has a strong partnership with Lycée Stanislas in Paris. Every other year, Upper School students in our French-language program have the opportunity to participate in a reciprocal exchange with the young women of Stanislas, sharing culture and customs while building language proficiency. Homestays in Paris and Washington are a key component of this program. Our students travel to Paris over spring break and host Stanislas students in April.
    Similar to the London exchange, the Paris exchange program pursues a unique curriculum that immerses participants in an issue affecting both Paris and Washington. Students participate through readings, discussions, and interactions with local communities and organizations in each city. They return to their home country with improved language skills, lifelong friends, and an expanded global worldview.
  • Spain: Language and Culture Program

    NCS students who have completed Level 3 Spanish and higher are eligible to travel to Spain with our language and culture program, which takes place every other year. Expert faculty and local guides engage them in language learning and an exploration of historic and contemporary Spanish society. NCS students return to campus eager to continue their language studies and to return to Spain, and other Spanish-speaking countries, in the future. 
    In previous years, NCS students have explored Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba, Sevilla, and Granada. They visited sites such as Museo del Prado, Palacio Real, Museo Reina Sofía, and Parque del Retiro. They learned about Spanish history in Toledo and Córdoba, visiting the Mezquita and the Calahorra tower. In Sevilla, they visited iconic sites such as La Catedral de Sevilla, El Alcázar, and La Alhambra in nearby Granada.
  • China: Language and Culture Program

    NCS and St. Albans School students studying Chinese have the opportunity to travel to China with our language and culture program, which takes place every other year. 
    During past travel programs, NCS students traced Beijing's history, visited the majestic Great Wall and the Forbidden City, enjoyed the gourmet food and giant pandas in Chengdu, and learned the fascinating history of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an. They experienced a diversity of historic sites, local restaurants, and communities to gain a greater understanding of Chinese culture and lifestyle.
    Another past trip sent NCS dance and Chinese-language students to Beijing and Hong Kong for an exchange trip. Students participated in calligraphy, music, and dance workshops at Beijing School No. 9 and the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
  • Rome: Language and Culture Program

    This program allows NCS students to spend a week in Rome and its environs visiting significant cultural sites while reading the very Latin that was meant for that place. The itinerary, offered in partnership with the Paideia Institute, includes Ostia (ancient Rome's seaport), Tivoli (the Emperor Hadrian's villa), the Forum, the Colosseum, and the extensive collections in both the Vatican and Capitoline museums.
    NCS students who will have successfully completed at least Level I Latin by the end of the school year are eligible for the program.


List of 8 items.

  • Haile Climate Change Fellowship

    As established in October 2022 by the parents of NCS alumnae. This Fellowship will give NCS students an opportunity to explore a climate solutions pathway that addresses one aspect of the climate crisis. Students are encouraged to look at climate change through different lenses—economics, scientific, political, societal and/or design. Through self-directed research or by joining an existing program, students can offer ideas on what communities might do to be better prepared for climate impacts; how to reduce emissions from specific sources or greenhouse gas emissions; or how to accelerate the more widespread adoption of clean energy resources.  
    Students also are welcome to offer ideas on how societal and geographical challenges associated with combatting the climate crisis can be addressed including, for example, how to assist communities that will be disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis due to location-based vulnerabilities and/or their reliance on fossil fuel-based industries. Similarly, global issues also can be addressed, including how to incentivize the participation of all nations of the world to join the climate fight, and how protecting and restoring natural resources such as forests, grasslands and wetlands can have an important impact. 
  • Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson Student Fellowship

    Established in 2020 by Carol Armstrong Dillon '63 and Tom Dillon, the fellowship honors the leadership of Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson as the 10th Head of National Cathedral School by encouraging students to deeply explore areas of interest. Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson led NCS as head of school from 2003 to 2019. She had an unrelenting determination that NCS women would have the moral and intellectual strength to make great contributions to our society. She believed that student projects, like the one funded by this fellowship, empower young women and give exciting previews of those great things to come. Students may choose to partner with an established organization or pursue an independent project. 
  • Lauren Sarah Hester Fellowship

    The Lauren Sarah Hester Fellowship was created in 1988 in memory of Lauren '87. It provides an opportunity for a rising senior to undertake an independent project or travel program during the summer following her junior year. Local, domestic, and international projects are encouraged. During the fall semester of junior year, a student must present a proposal outlining her research project, which is reviewed by a committee. Recipients are generally announced in late January. Students share their research with the school at an assembly during the fall of their senior year.
  • Reynolds Service Fellowship Endowment

    Established in 2019, the Reynolds Service Fellowship is dedicated to National Cathedral School’s core value of service and encourages students to make a difference in their world. The fellowship is intended to help inspire students to serve in meaningful ways, contribute to the greater good, and respond with conscious connection and purpose to the needs of others. Human connections are the ties that bind. Through service locally, nationally, or internationally, students will deepen these connections to themselves, their communities and to the wider world.  
  • Sandra Adler Leibowitz World Languages Fellowship Endowment

    Sandra Adler Leibowitz World Languages Fellowship Endowment honors the life and work of Sandra Adler Leibowitz, former French teacher at National Cathedral School. The fellowship supports students' immersive work and continued learning in a chosen language, spanning an intended period of two years.  Madame Leibowitz experienced first-hand the transformative impact of language immersion, and believed that student projects, like the one funded by this fellowship, empower young women to gain knowledge and understanding of and respect for other people and cultures and to become more empathetic, effective, and responsible global citizens. 
  • Vernot-Jonas Family Fellowship

    Established in 2018, the fellowship provides financial support for students with innovative ideas and demonstrated passion in creating a more inclusive and just society. Fellowship recipients will be given the opportunity to actively expand their own understanding in the areas of equity, diversity, or social justice. They are expected to demonstrate the application of their learning within their community in writing or by formal presentation during the school year following the grant.
  • Susan Ajello Award for International Scholars

    The Susan Ajello Award for International Scholars helps fund participation by Upper School students in any NCS-sponsored international exchange or trip. Eligibility is based on academic excellence, a student's essay, interest in the NCS Global Outreach Program, and financial need as determined by the Office of Admission and Financial Aid. The award was established in memory of Susan Ajello, mother of Christina Ajello '02 and Stephanie Ajello '05, by her family, her friends, and other loyal supporters of international studies at NCS.
  • Koch Fellowship

    Coordinated through the NCS English Department, the Koch Fellowship was established in 1982 in memory of John S. Koch, whose two daughters graduated from NCS. Through the Koch family's generosity, NCS is able to honor and encourage students for their "consistent excellence in expository writing." Recipients are chosen through a creative essay application and are sent to study courses of their choosing through the Oxbridge Academic Program in Oxford, England.

Extension Studies

Extension programs are semester- or year-long academic studies away from NCS. These programs typically offer traditional classes but may also focus on a particular subject such as language, leadership, or science. There are many extension programs for high school students, and NCS supports student participation in those programs that offer a rigorous academic experience without significantly delaying or interrupting a student's course of study at NCS. A list of NCS-approved extension programs can be found here.

Extension programs are opportunities to develop independence, gain leadership skills, explore areas of interest, take risks, meet students from around the world, and, in some ways, preview a college experience. They can be incredible experiences, but they aren't for everyone, and it takes careful planning to participate in such a program.