Pro Vita Winter Session

For one week every winter, Berkshire students participate in two unique, intensive courses of their choosing, taught by faculty, staff, parents, alumni, friends, and other students. The Pro Vita Winter Session is focused on the "Make. Perform. Do. Solve. Serve." model, in which students explore courses within the areas of art and design, sustainability, philanthropy, diversity, and sense of place.

The goal of this program is for students to have the opportunity to explore the larger world around them and to embrace the School motto: Pro Vita Non Pro Schola Discimus, "Learning—not just for school but for life.” Pro Vita offers more than 50 courses, a lunchtime workshop series, several site-based excursions, and various guest speakers, which allow students to uncover new talents and discover lifelong pursuits.



    Berkshire will be offering five off-campus excursions during this year's Pro Vita, February 24-March 2, 2019. Below is a look at the destinations planned for Pro Vita 2019. If you are interested in receiving more information (cost, details and itinerary) about these trips, please contact Pro Vita Director Donald Anselmi at

    Please Note: All of these trips go beyond the normal purview of Berkshire’s curriculum and, therefore, require additional fees for transportation, lodging, and food costs while off-campus. Prices vary depending upon enrollment and other factors, and are subject to change. Limited scholarships are available.

    Peru: Sacred Valley Service

    Initiated by student Cami Kittredge ‘19 and organized by the student travel company Rustic Pathways, this Pro Vita experience will enable students to better understand life in rural communities of the Peruvian Andes by exploring issues such as clean water infrastructure, education, and access to public services.  Students will contribute to sustainable service projects and learn about the former capital of the Inca empire. While coming to better understand the local culture, students will also hike through majestic mountains and visit the awe-inspiring ancient city of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

    Chaperones: Kelley Bogardus and Michael Dalton

    Approximate cost: $4,360
    Limited to 14 students

    Morocco: Weaving through Culture and Service

    Initiated by students Victoria Rowland ‘20 and Michelle Wang ‘20 and organized by the student travel company Rustic Pathways, this Pro Vita experience will enable students to broaden their perspectives as global citizens.  Students will travel to a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco to work alongside villagers on vital community service initiatives during the first part of this trip.  In addition, the group will spend time in the bustling city of Marrakech, exploring souqs, mosques, and museums as a way to understand Morocco’s rich history of religion and arts.

    Chaperones: Maura MacKenzie and Mohammed Hetraf

    Approximate cost: $4,180
    Limited to 14 students

    The Island School: Sustainability and Exploration

    Initiated by students Martine Lavelle ‘19 and Anne McGill ‘19, both Island School semester program alumna, the primary focus of this experience will be on sustainability and exploration where students will embark on a seven day journey at the Island School in Eleuthera, the Bahamas. Led by the alumna, chaperones and Island School teachers, Berkshire students will immerse themselves in island life through place based learning and daily exploration on the island. Through volunteer work at the local middle school, to free diving at sunrise, students will not only learn how to work together, but also learn from one another. Students will focus mainly on living and learning in a sustainable environment, on a microscale in Eleuthera. But, they will also learn how to apply their knowledge and curiosity to a macro scale- not only at Berkshire, but in the real world as well. Through daily reflection, meditation and journaling exercises, students will be able to develop a better sense of place and self. This experience will also showcase some of Eleuthera’s most spectacular beaches, blue holes, and untouched caves.

    Chaperones: Caddie Jackson and Bill Bullock

    Approximate cost: $3,200
    Limited to 14 students

    Greece: Navigating the Refugee Crisis

    Initiated by students Kat Erazo ‘19 and Avalon Lebenthal ‘19 and organized by the student travel company Atlas Workshops, students will come to better understand why Greece has been a crossroads for thousands of years and the current issues that immigration presents to this country and the world.  Today, as a gateway to the mainland European Union, Greece has emerged as a key transit point for migrants coming to Europe. On our excursion, students will explore and discuss the mass migration crisis at its epicenter, traveling to Athens and Lesvos. Along the way, we will be working with local experts, organizations, migrants, and supporting communities of Greece.

    Chaperones: Bebe Bullock and Jesus Ibañez

    Approximate cost: $3,335
    Limited to 14 students

    Arizona: NOLS Sonoran Desert Backpacking Experience

    Students on this course will learn backpacking, outdoor living and leadership skills while travelling in the United States' first designated wilderness area.  Traveling through canyon bottoms and ponderosa pine forests, we will enjoy a unique environment rich with human history and biological diversity. Students on this course will collaborate for group decision making, and working together, understand how their actions relate to real consequences.  Berkshire School will partner with The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming for this course.

    Chaperones: Cait Ward and Ben Urmston

    Approximate cost: $3,175
    Limited to 10 students





    Donald Anselmi

    Donald Anselmi
    Pro Vita Director
    Black Rock Scholars Coordinator

    Pro Vita Course Catalog