Sandy Spring Friends School



Upper School Intersession

SSFS students learn about the world by being in the world.

Intersession is an educational program formed to provide students an educational experience not confined by classroom walls. In a sense, Intersession serves to make the world an SSFS classroom, providing students an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of others, the greater world, and themselves. Intersession provides students an opportunity to challenge themselves in physical, cultural, intellectual, social, artistic, and community service experiences. 

Intersessions are expected to be engaging educational experiences, with recreational and entertainment aspects playing a subordinate role. In addition, the group aspect of Intersession provides a valuable peer learning experience for students. Intersession offerings are approved each year by a Program Selection Committee. Students are required to participate in Intersession during each year in the Upper School.

This student-created video, filmed and edited by Arianna R. ’20 during her senior year, features students talking about their Intersession trips and the positive impact of this hands-on educational experience.

2023 Upper School Intersession Trips

The global COVID pandemic abruptly halted plans for our Upper School Intersession trips in March 2020. Since then, we have been re-visioning and re-imagining our Intersession program each year in order to provide positive, experienced-based and immersive learning opportunities that also ensure the safety and health of our students, faculty, and community. Below, you can see some examples of our typical pre-Covid offerings (from 2018-2019 and 2019-2020), as well as the re-imagined workshops and day trips offered in the spring of 2022.

In 2022-2023, we have re-introduced overnight travel experiences for Intersession week, with 4-day grade-level trips to areas within a 4-6-hour driving range of our campus. The trips are anchored in core aspects of our program at SSFS: Quakerism, Community-Building, Service Learning, and Outdoor Education.  

  • 9th grade: Philadelphia
  • 10th grade: New York City
  • 11th grade: Pittsburgh
  • 12th grade: Virginia Beach

Read blog posts from the road!


2020 Intersession Trips At A Glance



Service trips taking place locally, regionally, and nationally.



Service hours completed on an Intersession service trip.



International trips to Mexico, France, and the UK.



Student-teacher ratio average during Intersession trips.

2022 Intersession Day Trips and Workshops

Although the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic continues to prevent us from offering our normal national and international travel options, Upper School students are participating in an Intersssion week this spring with workshops and day trips that offers experiential learning opportunities for all. Click a thumbnail to view full description.

2022 Intersession Workshops and Day Trips

2019 Intersession Trips

Although the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic prevented us from going forward with the 2020 Intersession program you can see the 2019 Upper School Intersession trip options to get a sense of how this program has operated in previous years. Click a thumbnail to view full description.

A Taste of Art

Number of students: 12
Number of days: 5
Type of trip: Local
Cost of trip: $200

El Camino de Santiago: Hiking Spain's "The Way of Saint James"

Number of students: 18
Number of days: 9 (Sat, Mar. 16-Sun, Mar. 24)
Type of trip: International
Cost of trip: Ranges from $2,880 to $3019, depending on the number of students who sign up, and includes airfare, full-time guide, hotel accommodations, on-the-ground transportation, and most meals.


Number of students: 18
Number of days: 5
Type of trip: Local Service
Cost of trip: $175

Potpourri of Service

Number of students: 18
Number of days: 5
Type of trip: Regional Service
Cost of trip: $275


Number of students: 18-20
Number of days: 14 (Thurs, Mar. 14-Sat, Mar. 30)
Type of trip: International
Cost of trip: $2,800