Students plan for the trip of a lifetime

Anna-Lisse Lenard, Reporter

A life-changing opportunity has emerged for students at MCHS: a trip to Europe that will take place next spring. Rebecca Shaman and Benjamin Gillman will be leading the group of students through the process of fundraising, preparing, and going on the trip.

All of the exact details are unknown until closer to the date of departure, but it is set to be about eight days long during Spring Break of 2019. Depending on the dates, a two-day extension to London may be added.

Where it will take place was determined by students through a poll; the winners were Paris and Rome. Specific detours are Vatican City, the Colosseum, Versailles, Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and others.

The trip is through EF Tours an educational tour program that helps schools be to able to take these trips. They have agents who organize everything. From the excursions to flights and even food, they research to find the best rate and times possible. Shaman said, “It would be an amazing opportunity and I have heard really good feedback from this company.”

EF Tours has over 500 schools in offices in over 50 countries across the world. It all started with a dyslexic Swedish student who overcame his learning disability through world travel. Him and his family are on their 50th year anniversary and still are pushing on with their main goal: opening the world through education.

The company structures the expeditions in a concise yet fun way. They assign a knowledgeable tour guides to stay with the school group for the full duration of the trip. Said tour guide will not only share their expertise on the location’s history, but they will also help groups navigate throughout the cities.

The cost is high, but so is the effort and desire to go. The group is currently thinking up fundraiser ideas and, considering the large amount of time until departure, there are many chances to raise money.

Fundraisers through students and teachers at the school are what has been agreed upon the most. Regardless, more meetings will take place to determine and discuss as many fundraisers as possible. Shaman explained, “We know it is costly and we understand completely. We are trying to make this open to everyone we can; that is why we are starting to plan so early on.”

Methods of travel consist of the initial flight to Rome, various bus rides, and an overnight train ride through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains to Paris.

Students will room with about three friends of their choosing in numerous European hotels throughout the trip.
Breakfast and dinner – based on the location – are included in the fee as are the other commodities. Dinner will be a traditional feast each night that relates to the culture students will be invested in at the time.

History Club, a group of students who like world history and are interested in learning a more outside of school, are the ones going and brainstorming ideas about the trip.

The first meeting brought in over 30 excited kids, buzzing with energy while waiting for more details on the trip. It is open to everyone except current seniors.

Leaders of the club are history teachers Benjamin Gillman and Rebecca Shaman. When asked what had inspired the idea for this trip, Shaman responded, “What made me want to start this was my love for world travel and helping others to do so.”

Going abroad offers many opportunities to see more of the world, especially starting when younger. “It is so much fun to travel when you are young,” explains Gillman, “It really broadens your view and knowledge on things.”

EF Tours offers what they call the “three pillars of learning”, in which they make a goal and basis for the trip. These ‘pillars’ are cultural experience, language, and academics; MCHS is choosing the cultural experience.

The trip does not consist of any written or academic work, but experience alone is enough to create knowledge, friends, and long-lasting memories among the students who go.

This Europe trip is new to MCHS; it has never been done before. Gillman stated, “This is a first-time thing at this high school. We are hoping to make it an annual trip and to get as many students to go on it as we can.”

Shout out again to the two amazing teachers and the many students involved. Hopefully this can be a popular, recurring trip for many years to come.


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