Signature Programs

Only at SAS

The student experience at SAS is truly unmatched, thanks in part to these Signature Programs designed exclusively by and for SAS. In our unique environment, where faculty and students are limited only by their imaginations, some pretty unique opportunities have been created. We build better ways of learning right within our own walls, and also craft compelling new ways to let the world be our classroom. 

Mongolia China Alive


Immersed for four dynamic weeks in a new culture and community, groups of grade 8 students live in a Chinese village with the purpose of engaging in four major pillars of understanding: experiential learning, personal growth, an expansion of intercultural understanding, and a deepened awareness of impact. This experience genuinely changes our students, and they return to SAS looking at themselves and their world with a fresh and invaluable sense of perspective.

Imagine if, for two years, half a student’s academic schedule revolved around open-ended, complex questions on humanity’s most pressing problems. Welcome to Innovation Institute on the Puxi campus, where teachers from four different disciplines fuel project-based learning, and the students become deeply critical thinkers with cutting edge skills to navigate and lead in modern society.


TheEleven is the best senior experience a junior can have. Here, our grade 11 students embark on a fun, productive, community-building time that gives them a jumpstart on their college application process before grade 12 even starts. TheEleven is a one-of-a-kind, intensive, week-long retreat program where our college counselors, outside experts, and SAS faculty work with our grade 11 students to scaffold their transition to the grade 12 year. So if they’re not totally ready for senior year, well, they soon will be.


In a Chinese city famous for its ceramics, our Pudong campus students become true Artists in Residence through this interdisciplinary immersion in art and culture. With master lessons in porcelain adding fresh layers to our students’ passion for art, the life experiences in Jingdezhen also build their confidence and identity as global citizens.

china alive

How many grade 6-10 students participate in our China Alive program? That would be all of them. With over 40 destinations to choose from, from film studios to tea farming, this week spent beyond our gates is rooted in the belief that your kids aren’t just students at SAS, they are students in China. We’ve been committed to seeking and redefining adventure and connection with our host country in this way ever since the late ’90s.


Look closely in rural Malawi and you can find a school for orphans that has been built and transformed into a pioneer in education, thanks to a longstanding partnership with the Puxi campus of SAS. On our regular visits to Jacaranda, our students are met with waves of drumming, dancing, friendship, and new perspectives that will forever shape their worldview.