Due to COVID restrictions, we are not running our immersion trips this year, but we hope to resume them during the 2022-23 academic year.
Dawson’s Language Immersion Program offers sophomores, juniors, and seniors the unique opportunity to engage deeply with a language and culture by living with a family and experiencing school life in the host country. Prior to 2020, Dawson sent students  to Spain annually, and to China and France in alternate years. We hope to resume these invaluable experiential trips as soon as is practicable  


Dawson students have the opportunity to experience China first hand. The trip begins with several days of travel during which  students explore the dynamic collision between the lasting legacy of China's ancient history and the modern realities of this vibrant, developing society. The group then travels southwest to Chongqing where the students will spend a week living with homestay families and participating in activities at our sister school, Chongqing Yucai Secondary School.

During this language and cultural exchange, After a few days in Paris adapting to their new surroundings, Dawson students spend several weeks living with a host family, attending classes, and experiencing French culture first hand. Later Iin the spring, Dawson students then host their French siblings back in Colorado. Dawson’s new partner school, l'Institution Notre-Dame la Riche, is situated in the charming town of Tours, just blocks away from the stunning Cathédrale Saint-Gatien, and a short train ride from Paris.

During this language and cultural exchange, After several orientation days in Madrid, Dawson students spend several weeks living with a host family, attending classes, and experiencing Spanish culture first hand. Later inIn the spring, Dawson students then host their Spanish siblings back in Colorado. For over twenty years, Dawson has partnered with Colegio Internacional Europa, an independent K-12 school in Seville, Spain.


We accept applications from sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are either studying Mandarin III or have already completed French, Spanish, or Mandarin III or higher. Applicants must be in good academic standing and socially and emotionally ready to spend almost three weeks abroad in a sometimes challenging environment . This is a two-way exchange, so participating Dawson families are also expected to host a visiting student. China participants other than(except for the families of graduating seniors) are expected to host a Chinese exchange student for about a week in Spring of the year following the immersion experience. France and Spain participants will host a French or Spanish student for four to five weeks in April/May following their own immersion experience.
Travel dates will be in the spring, overlapping with Winterim. The application and interview process will take place in the fall of that same year. 
For more information on the these programs, please contact the appropriate Immersion Coordinator:



Early September - Info Meeting for interested parents and students 

Mid-September - Applications due

Mid-September to early October - Interviews

Early October - Acceptance notification

Mid-October - Contract and deposit due

“Immersion was one of my favorite experiences from my time at Dawson.  I learned so much about myself and it was probably one of my more formative times while I was in the Upper School.  It definitely inspired me to want to pursue more languages and cultures.  The following year I participated in a 2 week immersive experience for Arabic, and now at the Naval Academy I am considering a major in International Relations while studying French or Arabic, maybe both!  I would 100% suggest this program to anyone who is interested, and I can't emphasize enough the impact it had on my life!”
-Tommy Noonan (France), ’21

I cannot recommend French immersion enough. I visited Tours in 2019 and for one month I was steeped in French culture and wonderful experiences. My French family was incredible and took me on trips on the weekends. I went to monasteries, castles, coast sides and the zoo. I still talk with my French host siblings and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to go. I thought, felt, and lived French- it’s one of the best things a person can do.
-Aurpheon Ray, '20

“I really loved the trip, getting to explore Paris with one of my good friends who was in the program with me was an amazing experience, and the homestay really allowed me to get an authentic living experience! I very much enjoyed visiting the local tourist attractions, and being immersed in the culture and the amazing food the region has to offer. Overall, one of my favorite experiences in high school.”
-Nate Bernstein (France), ’20

“As soon as my host mom picked me up, she treated me like I was her own daughter displaying spectacular genuineness and care. Being able to live with my host family, along with visiting various sites and doing fun things with the Dawson group, allowed me to take on a more worldly perspective; this perspective has helped me set higher goals for myself as well as distinguish future visions concerning where I want to be and who I want to be.”
-Aria Barbour (China), ’20

“Once, trying to show my bravery, I picked up an unknown lumpy rubbery meat, boiled it in the broth and lifted it to my lips. I closed my eyes, opened my mouth, and swallowed, I opened my eyes and my host sister, and her uncle were stifling a giggle. I asked “What was that?” Daisy revealed that I ate the third stomach of the cow.  While this experience may seem scary, or unappealing, it was incredible. I was exposed to something new, and although I ended up eating cow stomach, I stepped out of my comfort zone just like Mr. Carter wanted me to. The immersion program serves to give students the chance to not only travel abroad, but to learn about and understand the intricacies of cultures unlike our own. This expectation was exceeded on my trip, and the memories I made will forever be cherished.”
-Anika Banerjee (China), ’20