SFS Students spend Spring Break exploring the globe

A group of SFS undergrads traveled to Peru with the Center for Latin American Studies. Here they are in front of Machu Picchu!

For SFS students, spring break often means something other than a vacation. This year, nearly 100 SFS graduate and undergraduate students went abroad as part of spring break programs taking them to Africa, South America, Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East to explore first-hand the issues they had been learning about in the classroom. These programs were both for credit and non-credit.

"As part of celebrating the School's Centennial, we are thrilled to be expanding the ways in which a Walsh School of Foreign Service education is truly global," says SFS Dean Joel Hellman. "The opportunity to learn internationally can be a transformative experience, which we want to be available to every SFS student. They take the theory from the classroom and see how it applies in the real world beyond our borders."  

Below, take a look at what Hoyas were doing all over the world this past spring break.

Qatar | Kenya | Peru | Jordan | India | Cambodia | Poland and Moldova | Vatican City


"Politics and Sports," an innovative online course, traveled to Qatar to meet with students at SFS-Qatar, tour soccer stadiums, and learn about the international politics surrounding Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

Parker Houston (SFS'19) looks up at the skyline of Doha, Qatar.


The African Studies Program took students on their annual trip to Nairobi, Kenya, combining lessons in international development and historical analysis with site visits and outdoor adventures.


A group of undergraduates embarked on a week-long journey through the history, culture, and politics of Peru with Father Matthew Carnes, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, gaining firsthand knowledge of contemporary Peruvian politics, economics, and culture.


SFS Centennial Lab “Development and Displacement in the Arab World” focuses on different types of development as solutions to displacements in the Arab world. The class traveled to Jordan over spring break to learn about community-based development projects and the impact of displacement on communities.


“India Innovation Lab,” now in its second year, took students to Mumbai, India where they presented their ideas on improving the quality of public health that they had developed in the classroom.


SFS Centennial Lab “Politics and Performance: Confronting the Past, Shaping the Future” traveled to Cambodia as guests of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), visiting key sites of memory of the Cambodian genocide, meeting artists, and learning about their traditional and contemporary performing arts.

Poland and Moldova

"Holocaust Forensics: Fieldwork," a course organized by the Center for Jewish Civilization, traveled to Poland and Moldova to conduct forensic fieldwork on Holocaust sites with Father Patrick Desbois.

The group at the location of an unmarked mass grave of Jews at the top of a hill in rural Moldova. According to local residents, they were the first group of foreigners to visit this site. Here students said a Mourner's Kaddish at the site of the mass grave. (Photo: Andrew Sedlack)

Father Desbois and students at the City Hall in Orhei, Moldova, approx. 25 miles north of the capital city of Chișinău. They were received by one of the deputy mayors of Orhei and spoke with a Holocaust survivor about the history of the Holocaust in the town. (Photo: Aviv Lis)

The group met with this man in a rural Moldovan village. He shared with them his memory of the war and what happened to the Jews in his village. (Photo: Paul Rochford)

The ruins of a gas chamber “Krema III” at Birkenau Extermination Camp, which is part of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Memorial and Museum in present day Brzezinka, Poland. (Photo: Paul Rochford)

An old Jewish cemetery in Bălți, Moldova, where many of the gravestones have fallen into disrepair. (Photo: Andrew Sedlack)

"According to local residents, we were the first group of foreigners to visit this site," Matt Ellison (SFS'18) said of their visit to an unmarked grave site in rural Moldova. (Photo: Paul Rochford)

A group of Georgetown students in a restaurant in Kraków, Poland, on the final night of the trip. (Photo: Aviv Lis)

Vatican City

SFS students Jake Glass (SFS ’20), Rushika Shekhar (GHD ’18), and Yanchen Wang (GHD ’19), along with Roisin McLoughlin (COL ’19) and Lucy Obus (COL ’11, CCT ’18), traveled to Vatican City as Georgetown's team for “Vatican Hacks", an international competition organized by the Vatican aimed at designing solutions to global challenges. The Georgetown team, "Hoya Haxa," placed first for their innovative project designed to help migrants and refugees get access to credit.