Europe is a common dream location for people of any age, and many high school students have never even left the country. However, 14 language students went to Europe on a group trip over summer break.
Students in Spanish, German, Latin, and French classes all traveled together, leaving June 27 and returning July 10. They were accompanied by 21 students from 2 other schools in the US.
“If was fun because we got to make some new friends and learn about other schools in America,” said senior Latin student Grace McDaid.
Along with other adult supervisors, Wendy Marini and Kitty Zackey, the German and Latin teachers, went with the students. In addition, they had tour guides for each individual location they visited.
“The group was much more effective because we had a tour guide who could tell their stories and a lot of history we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise,” said Spanish student junior Anna Lyter.
While students encountered some problems with languages encountered in Europe, more popular areas were English-accessible. In tourist cities, many people speak English and signs are written partially in English
“We went to parts of France that weren’t really tourist attractions, so it was more difficult getting around since they didn’t know as much English,” said German student junior Chris McCumber.
The students traveled through Madrid, Barcelona, Kannes, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, and many other locations. They were exposed to various cultures and had a chance to get out of their comfort zones.
“I just got to learn more historical stuff and get out of the house and out of the country, which I’ve always wanted to do,” said McCumber.
A distinct difference students saw in Europe was food portioning and timing. Europeans eat smaller meals and eat dinner at 8 p.m.
“It was really difficult to get used to, but after two weeks, we got used to it, with dinner at 8 p.m. and everything,” said Lyter.
The journey also gave students an opportunity to see what elements of the trip they wanted to do again in the future.
“I now know the places I want to go back to and spend more time in and what exactly I like to do when I travel,” said McDaid.
Students were particularly impressed with the historical parts of Europe. They visited historical monuments and ruins in Rome, Barcelona, and other cities on their trip.
“It was so cool just to see how old [Rome] was,” said Lyter. “It was fascinating to see how long ago they used [the buildings].”