Upland Goes Global

At Upland, we prepare students for life in an ever-changing world by providing an outstanding education with a uniquely global perspective.
Through multiple international experiences and partnerships, Upland students in all grades have opportunities to experience other cultures and lifestyles in different countries around the world. Although endless learning could occur on our campus in southeastern PA, these opportunities provide our students the chance to learn more about themselves as well as the world we all share.

Upland Overseas – A Friendship Forged on Ice

Upland continues to celebrate our Finnish Exchange Program, the first middle school level international exchange program in the country and one of the most anticipated of our traditions. The program was designed to provide students with a first-hand international experience using student exchange with an athletic focus as a vehicle for sharing friendship between countries. Our unique program connects our two cultures and has built an ever-growing family.

Each year, Upland welcomes several students from the area around Turku, Finland to spend the year as members of our 9th grade class and live with Upland families for the school year. The students quickly become members of their host families as well as members of the larger Upland family. In the spring, Upland’s 8th and 9th grade students travel to Finland for 10-14 days to experience the country's history and culture and to play ice hockey or lacrosse with local teams. The highlight of the trip is the annual visit to Turku where students stay with host families and visit with alumni. Every three to five years, the Upland community welcomes teams from TPS and Lahjan Tytöt for a cultural exchange on this side of the Atlantic. This is always a much-anticipated opportunity for Upland’s American and Finnish alums to reconnect as well as to make new friends.

Upland Connects Internationally

Visiting International Artists

Upland students experience international culture on campus as well through our regular visiting artists and educators from around the world. We have had the privilege of several visits over the years from Hua Hua Zhang, an internationally known artist and performer who travels the globe teaching and performing the ancient Chinese tradition of Rod Puppetry. She recently spent time with our students sharing Chinese culture while making Chinese Palace Lanterns. She also demonstrated the Chinese art of calligraphy and after some basic instruction, students practiced writing zodiac signs, symbols of the seasons, and their own names with Chinese ink and brushes.

Classes Serving Globally

All grade levels at Upland reach out globally to serve as both class projects and curriculum supporting experiences. Students connect with American troops stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan or earthquake ravaged Haiti. A highlight of the fifth grade year is participating in Kiva International, a group with the mission of connecting people around the world through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. In addition to promoting global service, the Kiva project connects to the students' study of world countries and cultures and math programs. The students studied different countries and small businesses and then made loans to support the local businesses. In just two months, the fifth graders invested in projects assisting people in Nicaragua, Togo, Kenya, Cambodia and the Philippines. The Upland community may be a small one, but the impact our students have on both local and global communities is extraordinary.