The Cardinal

International trips allow students to explore the unknown

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From Spanish, to Italian, to German, Canfield High School students have the opportunity to learn of these other countries’ languages and cultures, far beyond the borders of the small town that we live in.

Although we do learn many of the key components of these cultures, it is nearly impossible to truly grasp what it would be like to live in one of these countries without actually experiencing it in person. This is exactly why some of our teachers, particularly Senor Martinez, Frau Hummer, Senora Vivacqua, and Mrs. Snavely have volunteered much of their time and effort to organize and take large groups of students to countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and Australia.

School trips have made an enormous impact among all students who attend. Not only do the students agree with this statement, but so does Senor Martinez, Spanish teacher at Canfield High School.

Martinez said, “Seeing different places allows the kids to come back with new and different perspectives of life.”

The insight of Senor Martinez on why he chooses to chaperone these trips are quite sensational as he said, “Being able to experience the different culture is my favorite part. Nobody understands what it is like until they have actually witnessed the environment in another country, it’s very exciting.”

Senor Martinez has chaperoned these school trips for Canfield High School in the past, but the next trip is a little different for him.

Next year, the high school is taking a school trip to Spain.

“I’m in charge of this trip because it is my country,” Martinez said.

He added, “It will be awesome to be apart of the life in Spain, not only for the students but for me as well.”

Another veteran chaperone, Frau Hummer, had similar commentary regarding the past school trips she had been on with students. She explained that what she does to contribute to these trips is for the kids’ benefit, although she herself enjoys much of the experience.

“The best part is listening to the kids go on and on about how they never thought they could feel so connected to another culture that they knew so little about,” Hummer said.

She said that each trip has its own special moments. She also believes that witnessing what these countries have to offer and their histories life can alter the students’ lives forever.

Hummer reflected on one of her student’s reaction to his time in Germany a few years back, saying, “He was so affected by what he had seen around him and of his new knowledge of what engineering school would be like in Germany, that he came back a year later after graduation to study abroad.”

As these across-the-world trips do have major benefits, there are some negative outcomes that Frau Hummer has had to deal with, even having to send some students home.

“What those students did not understand was that I had put my trust in them to obey the rules away from home, as we were basically in place of their parents. Sneaking out at night really wasn’t worth it in the end as they soon found out,” she said.

Hummer emphasized that keeping the students safe is their number one concern, and risking that is out of the question.

Although Frau Hummer, Signora Vivacqua, and Senor Martinez have done a lot for the organization and travel purposes of these trips, there is still one more teacher who is greatly responsible.

Mrs. Snavely has been a chaperone and leader of these trips for about five years. She first decided to chaperone after Frau could not make a trip and has overseen the development of the trips ever since.

Snavely has sparked an interest in traveling to other countries and hopes that the students will feel the same way. Snavely commented, “It’s one thing to read or learn about a country but another to actually go there and experience the culture.”

As enjoyable as visiting another country is, there are also some difficulties, according to Mrs. Snavely.

Considering there are around 30 to 40 students going to a foreign country with just a few chaperones, it can make it hard to be safe but the teachers seem to have it all under control.

“Keeping all the kids organized is definitely the hardest part but us chaperones keep it all together pretty well. The students want to be there so they are well behaved for the most part,” Snavely said.

Mrs. Snavely is looking forward to the next trip to Spain as she said, “We are all wrapped up in this little bubble so when or if you go to a different country you are amazed because it is truly different.”

Students’ perspectives of these school trips are just as important as the teachers’ who travel with them.
Two former Canfield High School students, Alana and Angelo Petracci, last year went on the trip to Germany.

“It was just pretty cool to see what we had spent so much time talking about come alive,” Angelo said.

Alana agreed with her brother and remarked, “It is definitely something I was hesitant about doing at first, but I’m so happy that I did and would love to go back.”

Overall, these trips are designed to provide a well-rounded experience for students to learn and excel. Students with such opportunities to experience a world of the unknown will allow them to explore new ideas that can affect their futures and expand their mindset with new possibilities and goals to be set.

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International trips allow students to explore the unknown