Northwest Horizons

Foreign language teachers and students prepare to dive into culture

The lines above indicate the path the group will take this summer in Europe. Teachers and students alike are excited to share a new cultural experience.

The lines above indicate the path the group will take this summer in Europe. Teachers and students alike are excited to share a new cultural experience.

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The abundance of time provided to students and teachers during the summer is often utilized to travel around the world. However, it is a unique experience that arises when students and teachers are able to come together to take a trip to a foreign country for the sake of their mutual enhancement of knowledge.

Language teachers Gwen Stencler, Parker Jackson and Tiffany Saveedra are the teachers who have been organizing a Northwest trip to Spain, France and Italy from June 23rd to July fourth.

“We are going to Spain, southern France and Italy to promote language,” Spanish teacher Gwen Stencler said.

Students who will be partaking in the opportunity share similar views.

“I took Spanish because it was the one culture I actually wanted to learn about,” junior Haley Hill said. “I want to study abroad in college too, so I want to feel more comfortable in the culture and understand their values.”

The trip, spanning 12 days, was an undertaking that required much prior preparation and thought.

“I started [planning the trip] over 2 years ago, and I began by holding an interest meeting.” Stencler said.

The amount of time that was allocated to planning, allowed the trip itinerary to make adjustments based on student participation.

“Our original itinerary took us to Germany, but we had to have more students on board,” Stencler said. “We changed the itinerary and took out Germany and put in Southern France instead.”

Personal planning has also played a role in the success of the trip.

“I had to get my passport, my mom is taking off work cause she is going with me, and we are starting to get everything together so we are not packing last minute,” Hill said.

Although the group now has a total of 18 students, student participation initially proved to be an obstacle.

“We had a few students that weren’t sure about signing up, but ultimately it worked out for everybody,” Spanish teacher Tiffany Saveedra said. “We also have a few parents who are going too, which will be fun.”

After their arrival in the European countries, teachers and students alike have some fears about being in a foreign country.

“The language barrier in France [could be an obstacle] because none of us speak French,” Stencler said.

Some also worry about potential safety hazards.

“The train bombings and the situations with the trains that have recently happened, terrify me,” Hill said.

While behavioral issues can sometimes become a problem on trips such as this one, the teachers trust that the students will not act in an inappropriate manner.

“They are all great kids,” Saveedra said. “We all think that we can all work together and see the sights together.”

Looking ahead, the participants on this trip are excited to come home and share their memories with friends and family.

“I hope to bring back a lot of pictures and talk about everything that went on over there,” Saveedra said.

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Northwest Horizons School News
Foreign language teachers and students prepare to dive into culture