Va­ri­ety of lessons

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Stu­dent Ac­tiv­i­ties co­or­di­na­tor Mr. Hal­sall, trav­elled through Ger­many, Aus­tria and Italy. Their itin­er­ary was jam-packed with vis­its to some of Europe’s most fas­ci­nat­ing sites such as Ger­many’s Par­lia­ment, the Bran­den­burg Gate, the Check­point Char­lie Mu­seum, the Ger­man City of Dachau, Mad King Lud­wig’s cas­tle of Neuschwanstein and the beau­ti­ful Aus­trian city of Inns­bruck, nes­tled in the Alps. In Italy, the trav­el­ers stopped in Venice, As­sisi, and fin­ished their trip in Rome.

Stu­dents en­rolled in the level 5 Con­tem­po­rary World and Lit­er­a­ture Pro­gram have the op­tion of go­ing on the school’s an­nual trip to Europe and some of those stu­dents ac­tual- ly plan on go­ing years in ad­vance. “I’ve wanted to go since I was in level three when my brother went. I wanted to go be­cause I thought it would be my only chance to see Europe,” said Sawyerville’s Ti­mothy Bowker. Cook­shireEa­ton’s Jes­sica Everett, who also knew peo­ple who had taken the trip, had wanted to go from the mo­ment she started high school. Also from Cook­shireEa­ton, Sarah Han­nah O’Reilly said: “I’ve wanted to go for seven years. It’s so cool that I got to visit some of the same places that my sis­ter vis­ited.” “I de­cided to go just this year. Some friends were go­ing, I thought it would be fun, and noone in my fam­ily had ever gone,” men­tioned Stanstead East’s Cameron Mur­phy.

All six stu­dents who sat for the in­ter­view agreed that the pos­si­bil­ity of go­ing on the Europe trip had re­ally mo­ti­vated them to keep their His­tory and English marks high so they would get ac­cepted into the en­riched class. Stu­dents need a mark of 80% in both level 4 English and level 4 His­tory 404 to get into the en­riched class.

Fundrais­ing to get to­gether the $2,800 plus spend­ing money needed for the trip is a big part of the prepa­ra­tions for some stu­dents. “I or­ga­nized a bowl-a-thon and a spaghetti din­ner with my best friend,” said Sher­brooke’s Kelly Hur­dle. “It took a lot of time and ef­fort not just by me but my fam­ily, too. It made the trip even more ex­cit­ing,” added Kelly. “We also went to lots of meet­ings, some with our par­ents. We found out about the itin­er­ary, how much the trip costs, and things like money belts. We also had to pick room­mates,” ex­plained Byanca Custeau, from Sher­brooke.

Venice seemed to be the most pop­u­lar stop on the tour, at least ac­cord­ing to the six in­ter­vie­wees, with Ber­lin, which was likened to a “Mon­treal but with less stress and a lot more to­bacco smoke”, com­ing a close sec­ond. “Venice was so dif­fer­ent; the streets were wa­ter and the pi­geons fly into peo­ple’s heads!” said Kelly. Ti­mothy was amazed by the hand-carved wood­work in the Neuschwanstein Cas­tle. All of the stu­dents were sur­prised by the sheer num­ber of cas­tles and an­cient build­ings in the three coun­tries they vis­ited. “Euro­peans seem to have more re­spect for old things,” they all agreed.

Jes­sica, who ad­mit­ted to be­ing a fussy eater, was sur­prised that she liked the food. But none of the stu­dents liked the Ger­man dumplings, “And we got them twice in a row!” They were also sur­prised to see their chap­er­ones in a dif­fer­ent con­text. “Re­mem­ber when the teach­ers were cry­ing from laugh­ter in the train? Teach­ers don’t do that! And Mr. Hal­sall kept pre­tend­ing it was some­body’s birth­day at each restau­rant, so we made it his birth­day on the last night be­fore he could do it to some­body else!”

At the age of six­teen or sev­en­teen, a school trip to Europe is much more than just an aca­demic va­ca­tion. “We made great mem­o­ries, lots of in­side jokes. But my best friend didn’t come and I re­ally missed her. Now I ap­pre­ci­ate her more,” said Byanca. “I learnt to speak up for my­self, like in a restau­rant. And to work out prob­lems on my own,” ad­mit­ted Sarah-Han­nah. “I learnt that some­times I just need my space,” said Kelly.

Jes­sica learnt to be more re­spon­si­ble: “You’re mak­ing your own de­ci­sions for ten days; now I know I can do it. We all kind of grow up a bit.” “I brought back three thou­sand pho­tos and I made a re­ally good friend,” com­mented Cameron. “It was fun for ev­ery­one – noone got lost and no-one got pick-pock­eted,” said Ti­mothy. Cameron con­cluded the in­ter­view with: “It was re­ally worth the money and I would go back with the same group any time!”

The Galt stu­dents vis­ited the Colos­seum of Rome on the last day of their spec­tac­u­lar trip.

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