Calder Classics


Summer in Gaul: June 16-30, 2017

Join us for this unique summer learning experience in Avignon, France, designed for high school students with a passion for Latin literature, ancient history and an interest in conversational French.

Reading Caesar & Discovering Ancient History in France 

Calder Classics invites students entering 9th through 12th grades to join us in Avignon, France in the summer of 2017. Over the course of a two-week program, the Classics come alive through the study of Caesar and other Latin authors, exploration of ancient sites, and immersion in daily French life. 
We spend the weeks together at a beautiful French villa tucked inside the medieval city walls of Avignon. The Latin and French languages, art and scholarship merge fluently in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom and interdisciplinary exchange. Our days consist of reviewing Latin grammar, reading passages from Caesar’s Gallic Wars found on the AP along with other great authors of Latin literature, exploring the treasures of Avignon, and taking trips to visit Roman ruins in Nîmes, Arles or other nearby places of interest. The evenings feature Avignon’s many leisure and culinary offerings.

There is one free day scheduled per week when students may choose to experience Avignon on their own (with advance parental permission), or rest on the grounds of our villa.

The end date of this course is coordinated to allow students to optionally continue with the equally advanced Reading Latin + Art History course that immediately follows in Florence.

Master Latin


Each day, students and their teacher read, translate and discuss Latin literature in an interactive “salon” style environment. Our Latin readings will focus on Caesar’s Gallic War to help prepare students for the AP Latin curriculum and to provide a literary background to our exploration of Roman Gaul.  Our readings will also include such influential Roman poets as Catullus, Juvenal, Martial and Ovid. Given that participants join us from a variety of schools, we begin with a brief review of Latin grammar. We then analyze the texts from both a grammatical and literary perspective, engaging in such topics as the significance of rhetorical devices, political propaganda and intertextuality. At least one school year of reading Latin literature is recommended.

Speak French

Students learn French conversational tips from our resident French teacher and enjoy many opportunities to practice their language skills with locals, in and around Avignon. No formal French instruction is required, although students with prior French instruction, or at home exposure, will have plenty of opportunity to practice their conversational skills.

Dive into France’s Art, Culture and History

Throughout the course, we engage with ancient art and architecture that is related thematically to, or directly inspired by, the literature we have read. Guided by a local French expert, who specializes in historical preservation, we explore the ancient treasures of Southern France, including such places as the Roman Arena and Maison Carrée in Nîmes, the Necropolis and Cryptoporticus in Arles, the Roman Theater and Triumphal Arch in Orange, and the Pont du Gard in Vers Pont-du-Gard, the best-preserved Roman aqueduct in the world.  Our discussions focus on the historical context and broader themes of these sites as well as their connection to the core curriculum.

Calder Classics Students Have Joined Us From…

Andover, Berkshire School, Brearley, Chapin, Charlotte Country Day School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Clark School, Collegiate, Columbia Prep, Dalton, The Dexter School, Dwight Englewood School, Exeter, Groton, Hackley, The Harker School, High School of RenMin University of China, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, Liberty High School, Manhattan Friends, Marymount, Middlesex, Milton Academy, Packer, Portsmouth Abbey, Princeton High School,  Riverdale, Sage Hill, Sage Ridge, Saint Ann's, Saint Ignatius College Prep, Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University, Spence, St. Joseph, Stuyvesant, Taft, Trinity, Veritas Preparatory Academy and Woodrow Wilson... Add your school to the list!


Lana Robinson-Sum

Lana Robinson-Sum

Katy Eng

Katy Eng



We have exclusive use of a wonderful townhouse nestled within Avignon’s medieval city, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The villa is in a quiet residential neighborhood, just a five minute walk from the Palais des Papes, train station, and Pont D’Avignon on the Rhône River. Flooded with light and color, the villa is surrounded by the silence of a beautiful Provencal garden where we can study or just relax before dinner. Built in 1930 and beautifully renovated, our home includes five double bedrooms, a cozy living room with a lounge-library, a TV room, two outdoor terraces, a fully equipped kitchen and laundry room, and wireless internet. Solid stone walls and shuttered windows allow the bedrooms to be cool during the Avignon summer without air conditioning.

Dates & Fees


June 16 to June 30, 2017
The $5,000 tuition includes accommodations, transportation within France, museum entries, instruction and course materials (certain additional books may need to be purchased). Breakfast, plus either lunch or dinner, are also included. Depending on our daily schedules, students will be on their own for either a midday lunch break or an evening dinner break. Students are responsible for the cost of their own activities outside of the group. Transportation to Avignon is not included.




Students may travel with our chaperone on both legs of the journey, from New York City to Avignon and from Avignon to New York City. 


"Calder Classics was one of the best times of my life so far!  I feel like it was an experience that has taught me how to put both Latin and history into a visual context, live in a foreign country, and even how to be a better Latin student. I look back on these memories with fondness and I think that anyone with the opportunity to do a Calder Classics program should take it up in a heartbeat." -Charlie H., student

"Many thanks for an amazing and enjoyable educational summer program...  My son learned so much about language, history and culture. He had a wonderful time!" -Shelly H., parent

" I deepened my understanding of fundamental Latin concepts as well as more complex aspects of the language, gained an abundance of knowledge about Ancient Roman culture, and formed friendships and made memories that I will cherish forever." -Frances D.

"When we were looking for a summer Latin study program for our son we were lucky to find Calder Classics... It offers lots of individual attention, small class size, excellent teachers, and history lessons to go along with sightseeing... The staff, from our first inquiry into the program to arrival back in the United States, was always very helpful. Thanks Calder Classics!" -Ginny S., parent

"Calder Classics improved not only my Latin but also my knowledge and curiosity of the classics." -Julia S., student

Photos from Previous Trips

Reservation Form

Once you submit this Reservation Form, you will receive an email with a link to our full Application Form. After we receive a completed Application Form, a Calder Classics representative may be in touch with the applicant if further information is required to determine whether the program is suitable for the student’s level and experience. Students will be notified about their acceptance status upon assessment of the Application Form and the receipt of a required teacher recommendation. Reserved spots may be held for 10 days prior to receipt of the completed Application Form.

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