arrow-right facebook file-download instagram sort-down twitter youtube
High School Travel Program

The Center For Experiential Learning at AFS

The Center for Experiential Learning program encompasses a school-wide approach to learning that connects students in substantive ways to hands-on experiences and extended learning in the outside world.

MedEx and BizEx are the flagship programs of the Center for Experiential Learning. MedEx pairs students interested in medicine with exceptional professionals in the field for a year-long program of in-depth learning and exploration. MedEx students connect with real-world mentors and engage with doctors and professionals in varying fields of medicine, covering topics such as medical ethics, surgical techniques and conducting and reading x-rays and MRI’s. The BizEx program explores entrepreneurship and fosters innovation with immersive experiences that connect students with leaders in the business world.

The Center’s Mission

The Center for Experiential Learning at Abington Friends School creates opportunities for intellectual, personal and creative growth through engagement and action.

Rooted in the Quaker belief that experience is a student’s most powerful teacher and driven by the core Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equity, and stewardship, the Center fosters opportunities to connect with people, places and ideas.  These experiences cultivate inquisitive learners who understand their personal obligation to the global community and are prepared to engage with the world.

Global Travel Program

The Global Travel Program creates opportunities for Upper School students to explore the globe. Travelers go beyond the walls of the classroom to learn science, foreign language and visual and performing arts. The program emphasizes leadership development and cross-cultural competency. Students apply to take part in several small group tours, led by faculty, each year. Some of these immersive journeys have included include Hurricane Island in Maine, Yellowstone National Park, Paris, France and Costa Rica.

Spring 2024 Global Travel Trips

Frequently Asked Questions about Global Travel

Cohort Learning


MedEx is a small group mentoring program in which students apply to work with doctors over the course of a year from mid-10th to mid-11th grade.  Typical years allow for two slots for 11th grade students to apply (so they would take part in the program from mid-11th to mid-12th grade)  Students do not need to know if they are interested in medicine as a career; this is a program for learning and exploration. Past field trips have been to the Mutter Museum, the Abington Hospital Simulation Lab and a dialysis unit.  Evening sessions have been about topics like brain function (complete with a dissection), reading x-rays and MRI reports, medical ethics and reproductive rights.


BizEx is a small group mentoring program in which a group of business professionals will work with students over the course of their 10th and 11th grade years.  The cohort works in teams of students and professionals and  explore principles and concepts of entrepreneurship such as design thinking, developing a plan, marketing and financial literacy.

Service Learning

AFS has partnered with a few fellow non-profits to join together in efforts of stewardship and service learning for our students.

MANNA is an organization which provides meals and warmth to Southeastern Pennsylvania and Souther New Jersey. AFS students visit the MANNA organization to cook, prepare and serve meals. They also meet with administrators at MANNA, some of which are alumni of AFS, to learn about non-profit challenges and rewards. The goal is for our students to participate in project-based extended learning through service rather than just one day of activity.

Jenkintown Food Cupboard provides meals to 90-100 families in Montgomery County, PA each week. AFS students join forces each year to collect food to address hunger in our local area.

Whosoever Gospel Mission is a Christian nonprofit whose purpose is to provide shelter, food, clothing, education, counseling, rehabilitation and other assistance to homeless men, women and children in the Philadelphia region. AFS students join forces again to collect food donations for this organization.

Senior Capstone

During the month of May, seniors finish their regular class responsibilities and work on their Senior Capstone. The Senior Capstone is a culminating intellectual activity or service project that allows students to explore a passion, idea, or opportunity through in-depth inquiry, work, travel, or service. While collaboration and partnership can occur in Senior Capstones, every senior’s experience will be individual and unique.

AFS seniors can pursue four different options for their Senior Capstone:

Creative Endeavors –  This option is designed to give seniors wide latitude in developing their own Capstone. Students may work alone or in a small group, and all Creative Endeavor proposals will be approved by committee. Student applicants must demonstrate a distinctive level of self-discipline and work ethic in order to be approved for their proposal.

External Internships – Students can apply to work in an unpaid career-based internship at a business or organization. Internships will also be reviewed by a committee of faculty to determine their suitability. Internships cannot be for a family business.

Teaching Internships – Seniors who are interested in working in the AFS Lower or Middle School can apply for a limited number of Teaching Internships. They can request a particular area of the school (Middle School Art, 3rd grade, P.E., etc.) but are not guaranteed that their preference will be available.

Service and Service Learning – Seniors who are interested in giving back to the larger community can develop their own service projects or can apply for a limited number of spots in AFS-sponsored service opportunities. Seniors may choose to develop a service-learning project if they desire greater challenge.


The ExTerm program offers an experiential, immersive and interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that provides deep engagement with ideas, resources and people. Faculty and students will work together over the course of two weeks to discover passions, explore opportunities and connect with the larger community.

Learn more about ExTerm here.

Here are some images of students on their travels or in their learning cohorts.

  • Studying public health in the Dominican Republic

  • MedEx students observing digital x-rays.

  • Students taking a break from studying to explore the beaches "down under."

  • An AFS "Roo" meeting "real" Kangaroos in Tasmania.