"The vision of City Semester is to challenge students with a rigorous curriculum that connects student-centered, interdisciplinary, place-based scholarship to leadership, personal growth and engagement in the communal life of the city and the world"

City Semester: The Bronx Experience is a semester program that integrates history, English, science, ethics, language, civic leadership and the arts around the study of New York City- through the lens of the Bronx. Like other semester programs, City Semester offers a chance to step outside your everyday routine, have an adventure, challenge your assumptions and grow in new ways. At the same time, City Semester is rooted in your school, Fieldston, your neighborhood, and your city. It is not residential, so you will be able to bring your discoveries back to your "normal" life in powerful ways, both during the program and after. City Semester happens during the spring semester and the 20-30 students come from the junior and senior classes.

We spend at least one day a week outside of the classroom doing research, exploring neighborhoods, interviewing residents, working with community groups, presenting in the field and speaking to policymakers.  The academic work is rigorous and challenging, with teachers teaching in their own disciplines while also working across boundaries to reveal connections that might be unavailable in a more traditional classroom setting.  The work is project-based, organized around both individual and group assignments that draw from multiple subjects and from the world beyond the classroom.  The goal is to connect your learning to the world by studying the city. 

City Semester's Three Core Principles:

Interdisciplinary Study:

  • connecting disciplines while respecting the integrity and depth of each
  • deepening the student experience by engaging important, relevant and meaningful questions that more closely reflect lived experience

Experiential Learning:

  • immersing students in the landscape, culture and people of the city
  • collaborating in team based learning, modeling cooperation and citizenship to build community

Civic Leadership:

  • partnering with communities, organizations and individuals in place-based learning and doing; combining scholarship and activism to address policy challenges in a global city
  • inspiring students to apply their knowledge and skills as responsible citizens and leaders
  • engaging students simultaneously on a scholarly, personal, ethical and civic level; encouraging them to listen carefully, speak thoughtfully and act deliberately