After a stressful school year, some foreign language students leave the U.S on school-sponsored trips to explore different countries and immerse themselves in the language they’ve been learning all year. The Spanish students are traveling to Costa Rica, French students are going to France and England, and the German students are traveling to Germany. Trips range from 8 to 24 days.
The German students depart May 30 and will return June 22. Since German students will still be in school, the American students will attend school in Germany, where they will present to the school in German.
“We are hoping the students learn a lot of German in the 24 days they are in Germany,” German teacher Herr Cole said. “They are required to keep a journal where they complete their homework each night.”
On June 1 the French students will depart to France and return home on June 11. French students will visit the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Loire Valley and the Mona Lisa.
“I love the French culture,” junior Stephanie Wiggins said. “I am most excited to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and experience the new food, culture and the different people.”
During the last couple days on the trip, the students will take France’s high speed train to London. While in London, they will visit many popular sites like the Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
“Being outside the United States overall is exciting,” junior Mackenzie Armstead said. “But visiting a city like London makes it more exciting. I’m so thrilled to interact with different people and try new foods.”
The Spanish students will explore Costa Rica when they arrive May 28 and depart home June 5. They will stay the first night at a hotel, then students will stay with a host family for the five remaining days.
“At first, thinking about going to someone else’s house, I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to only have one other person translate,” junior Sierra Bailey said. “ But, the more I think about it, the more excited I get. I think that being fully engaged with the culture will really help me use what I’ve learned more effectively, while still learning about the culture and the people in Costa Rica.”
The students will teach Costa Rican elementary students English, games and painting.
“For me, a lot of what gives life meaning is helping people,” junior Trinity Wolff said. “That genuinely happy feeling of making an impact, however small, on another person’s life cannot be beat. Add that to always energetic and smiling kids, and you are bound to have at least a few moments of pure joy when every problem becomes irrelevant.”
After a jammed-packed school year, the students deserve a break of exploring new places and cultures. For more information about the foreign language trips, contact Señora Thompson in Room 251, Madame Bute in Room 259 or Herr Cole in Room 703.
(Featured photo courtesy of German club)