Trip Logistics

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On this page, you can find information about the application process for global trips, the participant selection process, trip costs, and financial aid availability.

Application Process

Trip leaders will provide applications directly to eligible students. General deadlines are as follows:

  • Late September: Informational sessions held for individual trips
  • October: Application period for global trips
  • Late October: Applications and financial aid applications due  (FA aid applications sent to Mary Yacob)
  • November:  Acceptance decisions and financial aid awards announced to students and families
  • December 1:  Families commit to trip and first deposit billed

Selection Criteria

The global trip selection process varies by division. In the Middle School, students are selected for Global Ed trips by lottery. All approved applicants have an equal chance at participation.

In the Upper School, group selection is a more complex process, with a number of different factors considered. These include:

  • Previous global experiences: We aim for all Catlin students to have an international experience during their four years in the upper school, if they wish to pursue it. As such, applicants who have not previously traveled with the school may be prioritized.
  • Grade: Most global trips are optimally suited for sophomores and juniors. Freshmen and seniors will certainly be considered, but there are reasons why each might be a lower priority. Freshmen, of course, will have more opportunities down the road and will be more intellectually and emotionally prepared as they mature. Seniors will have little, if any, opportunity to bring the experience back to campus, as they depart for senior projects a month after spring trips conclude.
  • Language: While the upper school does not do foreign language-specific trips, it is certainly beneficial to have some student participants with strong language skills.
  • Chemistry: A group can be less than the sum of its parts, but it can also be more. Group leaders speak with advisors and student-selected references to develop a complete picture of the applicants’ characteristics and skills. With all of that information in mind, they craft a group of complementary strengths, in which each student plays a particular role.
  • Academics: This is specifically relevant to spring trips. Many of our March/April trips involve missed class time. Students participating need to be capable of managing their workload prior to departure and catching up quickly upon return. Interested students needs to be in good academic standing when they apply and maintain it through the spring. 


Trip Costs


Global Ed trip prices are, with rare exceptions, all-inclusive. This means that all major expenses are covered by the trip cost, including air and ground transport, daily meals, accommodation, all major sights and entrance fees, and local guides/support. In addition, the trip cost includes a prorated portion of the chaperone expenses. Finally, a 5% financial aid surcharge is added, to help supplement our aid budget for international trips.

Some discretional expenses are not included. Optional travel insurance is made available to families shortly after air ticketing occurs. If chosen, this is an additional cost. In addition, students must use their own money for additional snacks on the road and gifts or souvenirs; they may be required to pay for Internet access or laundry, depending upon the trip. Chaperones will inform families of any other potential added costs early in the planning process.

If the trip comes in under budget, the school will retain up to 5% of the trip cost for financial aid and refund anything in excess of that to families. If, however, the trip comes in over-budget, the school will absorb that cost, unless the added expenses are the result of an emergency.    

After students are selected for global trips, families are asked to complete a financial commitment letter to secure their spot. From that point on, families are obligated to pay for their students’ share of expenses, even if they drop off of the trip. Typically, those expenses range from 25-50% of the overall trip price. If the student’s spot is replaced, the family may be released from their financial commitment.

The school bills the trip cost in monthly installments, typically beginning 3-5 months prior to departure. Students from families that are not in good economic standing with the school may not be considered. A family’s account must also remain in good standing throughout the duration of the trip process (from application through the travel dates). Failing that, a student may be removed and the family will still be held responsible for its student’s non-refundable expenses.

Financial Aid

The school’s goal is to make it possible for each student to participate in at least one international trip during their MS and US years. To achieve this goal, we provide a limited amount of financial aid for trips, which will be available to all students, regardless of whether or not they are currently in the financial aid program. Students may receive financial aid for one trip per division, maximum. The amount of financial aid available varies depending upon need, but it never covers 100% of trip costs.

Financial aid is only available to students returning to CGS the following year, and it may be revoked if a student chooses to leave after already being selected for a trip. The one exception to this rule is seniors applying for a spring Global Ed trip; in those cases, financial aid may be available. It will not be available to seniors for summer trips following their graduation.

Financial aid applications are due to Mary Yacob at the same time that trip applications are sent to the trip leader. Students will be denied aid if they fail to do this.

It’s important to note that financial aid does not cover expenses for activities when a student does not participate. Travel insurance is purchased for all students participating on a global trip with financial aid, so if a student in that case is forced to drop off a trip prior to departure because of injury or illness, the cost will likely be covered by the insurance. However, if a student voluntarily drops off a trip, the family will be responsible for all expenses. Financial aid in such cases is revoked. 


Passports should be current within three months of departure and return dates. Parents should keep a copy of passport at home.

Medical Considerations

Students should contact a travel clinic at least eight weeks before departure. The Traveler's Clinic at St. Vincent's (503-216-7000) gives CG travelers a discount. Find other options here. Bring immunization records if possible. Students should bring extra medicine or eye wear that may be critical if lost to their destination country.

Please read the CDC info on traveler's diarrhea


Parents are responsible for verifying that their family insurance covers their child while abroad.

Notes on Travel

For reasons of safety, Catlin Gabel requires that all members in a group depart from, and return to, Portland International Airport. Coordinating connecting flights or alternate travel plans for individuals creates undue risk for the entire group and is not permitted, except under unique circumstances.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to use air miles in collaboration with our group tickets. It disconnects students from the group itinerary and is often difficult in situations of cancelled flights or changing itineraries.

U.S. State Department Travel Information by Country

Contact the global education coordinators:  Becky WynneDave Whitson (US) and  Barbara Ostos (MS)