Exploratory learning for language students


Mark Jaber

A map of where students going on this trip are traveling to. They begin in Germany, visit France, and then Spain.

Any student who wishes to see different cultures are invited to visit countries in Europe to immerse themselves in a foreign country. This opportunity, provided by the language teachers, exposes students to the language and culture they learn about in school.

This year, German teacher Sandra Zemaitis, Spanish teacher Marla Vaughn, and other language teachers plan to take students overseas to see the countries of France, Germany and Spain. The trip is not related or sponsored by the school, so the trip comes to a costly price. 

However, it provides an opportunity for students to enhance their senses of the culture and language they practice. Vaughn, the main organizer of the trip, expressed her thoughts, “I love travel, and I think it’s really meaningful for students so I take on the task of organizing it.” 

Beginning their itinerary, they start in the country of Germany. Once landed in Germany, they will explore the rich culture and history present. “We will eat traditional foods and traditional dinners and breakfasts. We will also get to go around in the gardens and the parks. Then, we will go to the concentration camp Dachau, and what is left and learn about the history of that time – the persecution of the Jews,” explained Zemaitis.

From Germany, they board the trains headed for France. These trains, while convenient, harbor some issues. Junior Maddox Turner explained, “You’re only allowed to have a carry-on and a personal item so carrying all my clothes for two weeks in such a small amount of luggage is going to be a challenge.”

Once they land in France, their itinerary continues, where they arrive in Paris. They begin with the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, learning of the history of that area while appreciating the rich sights to behold. 

Moving towards the south side of France, they observe the lesser-known beauties France has to offer. “We get to see lavender fields and a city that is fully walled; Carcassonne, which should be interesting,” further described Zemaitis.

Their trip begins to end as they travel over to the country of Spain. Harboring beautiful sights and an intense cultural atmosphere, Spain is one of the most anticipated visits for one student. “I’m really excited to go to Spain because I learned a lot about it. The culture there is super cool and it’s super beautiful there,” emphasized Spanish and French student junior Brynn Feinstein.

And finally, their trip is over. Over the course of the two weeks, they traveled and saw a mosaic of culture, language, and people. This enriching experience is an opportunity provided for every student, of which it will continue for many years to come.