Multiple Locations +11
  • Thailand
    • Bangkok
  • Cambodia
    • Siem Reap
    • Phnom Penh
  • Vietnam
    • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Japan
    • Tokyo
    • Kyoto
  • South Korea
    • Seoul
  • Italy
    • Rome
    • Siena
    • Florence
  • Spain
    • Barcelona
    • Madrid
  • Portugal
    • Lisbon
  • France
    • Paris
    • Strasbourg
  • Switzerland
    • Bern
  • Germany
    • Munich
    • Berlin
52+ weeks

Program Details

Program Type
Direct Enrollment
Academic Year Fall Spring
Apartment Boat Hotel Lodge
Age Min.
Age Max


Starting Price
Price Details

Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
Approximate airline departure taxes, surcharges and fees
Hotels and accommodations
Breakfast and dinner daily
Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
Airfare between countries
Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
Transportation for all listed program excursions
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Some Activities Airfare Domestic Airfare Airport Transfers Meals Transportation
What's Not Included
Some Meals SIM cards Travel Insurance Visa
Nov 13, 2023
Jan 19, 2018
78 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Imagine studying Buddhism in the temples of Angkor Wat and exploring the busy streets of Tokyo and Seoul. Picture yourself swimming in the Aegean Sea, studying the Caesars in the Roman Forum or the effects of the World Wars from the site of the atomic bomb drop in Hiroshima, Japan and the trenches in France. We believe that the best learning lies in experiencing the world around us where there are no desks, there are no walls – The WORLD is our classroom.

1st Semester:
Fall Semester Europe: Rome, Roccamare, Florence, Borgo San Luigi, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Heidelberg, The Swiss Alps, Munich & Berlin

2nd Semester:
Spring Semester Asia: Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Mui Ne, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Seoul

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • 10:1 Student to staff ratio (maximum)
  • Ministry-approved credits
  • Visiting Famous UNESCO Sites and Museums
  • Individual attention via Masterclasses
  • Traveling through multiple continents and 14 countries

Popular Programs


This program is for anyone interested in learning how the world works and exploring the global issues impacting our lives. In the spring semester, students will learn the inner workings of communist and capitalist economies and gain insight through case studies and assignments in cities such as Siem Reap, Seoul, and Tokyo.

Belem Tower, Lisbon

Our journey takes us through Western Europe, with each destination acting as a perfect backdrop to dive deeply into the reasons we act, govern, and live in today's world. The past shapes who we are, and this semester opens student's eyes by seeing famous works of art in the Louvre, climbing the peaks of the Swiss Alps, and visiting the ancient Roman ruins.

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
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  • 1 rating 0%
  • Growth 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 5
  • Housing 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Big Year

It is unlike any other experience offered to high school students. The Big Year takes you out of the classroom you’ve grown so accustomed to and throws you full-fledged into the world. The Big Year taught me a whole side of eastern history that would never have been a part of my curriculum otherwise. There’s nothing quite like sitting down in the middle of the Forbidden City with tourists swarming around you and learning about the history of the towering red walls and the Great Leader that built them. There’s nothing like sprinting through Venice on a scavenger hunt, cursing the tourist-filled alleyways, trying to find some lost relic or statue from another time. There’s nothing quite like the group dynamic you develop; there’s nothing like the family you become. The Big Year throws you into such a diverse group of people that are all so unique with such strong characters. I never thought I would ever meet people like the one’s I did. Meeting such unique people allowed me to uncover a side of myself I never knew existed. The program changes you in the best way possible and really helps you come into your own. Our teachers curated student-teacher relationships, unlike anything I had ever been able to develop in a normal high school setting. Your teachers become your mentors as well as your friends. They’re the ones you sit down with when you’re working on an essay; they’re the ones you exchange toe rings with or take you to the doctors when you need one. They care. They care so much about students. Everyone does, if ever you’re feeling upset or alone it is such a wonderful and comforting thing to know you can turn to absolutely anyone on the trip. The Big Year is exactly that; it’s a BIG year. Students can expect to meet people, unlike anyone they’ve ever known and see places so incredible they couldn’t even fathom it before seeing it with their own eyes. It is everything I’ve said, and so much more, it is truly the experience of a lifetime, and I feel so privileged to have experienced it.

89 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Education minus the desk

I never thought that a beach in Vietnam, a tree in the Daintree Forest, an ancient park in Beijing used for sacrifice thousands of years ago, or simply the grass beneath the Eiffel Tower could be a lecture spot. MEI showed me that it doesn't take a desk and chair to have the ability to learn something new. Being exposed first hand to the way and places others live makes you appreciate not only how lucky you are, but how much of a difference your life can make in the world. Never in my life did I think I would enjoy going to school or voicing my opinions, but within a week of my trip I was infatuated with learning. MEI Academy made me who I am now and I am eternally grateful for every experience, memory and ounce of happiness this trip gave me and made me into. Not a single minute of the day passes me now where I don’t think back on the days I spent with people I loved traveling and seeing the world. I cannot day enough amazing things about MEI Academy.

86 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

The best decision you’ll make.

The MEI Big Year was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. There truly are no words that can fully capture the thrilling and adventure-filled year I got to experience while backpacking through 11 different countries, cultures, and climates. From running along the Great Wall to lectures inside the Colosseum, MEI is an education like no other. On my Big Year, I got to gain worldly knowledge from teachers who were passionate about what they were sharing. Every morning I woke up excited to explore and discover the history of the country I was in. Learning about the Vietnam war (while crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels), trading stocks in the heart of Sydney, and re-enacting Greek plays overlooking crystal blue Grecian waters, were things I had never experienced in other schools. Looking back now, I am grateful that my Big Year brought me lifelong friendships and showed me a reason to say that I enjoy learning. MEI gave me the experience to know that true education is never ending.

84 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Our programs are for Grade 11 (Juniors) and Grade 12 (Seniors). We will get the occasional GAP Year student for our Term Programs but mainly the last two years of High School.

Sorry for the late response. You will have roughly three months between semesters. In that time you'll be home for the holidays and able to recharge with family and friends. In early-February you will start reading and prepping for your next semester, which formally departs mid-march.

Hi, thanks for stopping by! If you participate in this program you will receive credits that should satisfy your high school's requirements. However, we would recommend chatting with your high school and the program provider to make sure the courses you will take abroad will meet your high school's graduation requirements!