Students to travel to France and Costa Rica in 2012

Katie Sisk, staff writer

As thoughts of summer fill students’ minds, Mr. Adam Groebner, Mme Anna Geving, and Mme Amy Jo Hyde think ahead to spring break of 2012 with plans for trips to Costa Rica and France. These trips will offer unique cultural experiences while providing an opportunity for students to improve their language speaking skills and have fun.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of these cultural experiences. “In the classroom you can simulate situations, but you can’t replace the actual opportunity to be immersed in the culture and in the language,” said Mr. Groebner, Spanish teacher and coordinator of the Costa Rica Trip.

This experience differs from the more common trips to Spain because of the Latin American location. “The most recent language trip for Spanish was to Spain, so I wanted to do something in Latin America, and Costa Rica had a lot of really great programs,” said Mr. Groebner.

While many of these programs focus on culture, students will also have opportunities for adventure. “They have the chance to go ziplining, horseback riding in the rainforest, and whitewater rafting,” said Mr. Groebner.

When students finish their cultural and adventurous activities, they get to give back to the community. “They have a day of volunteering, and I really liked that. I think it fits in really well with the mission of Benilde-St. Margaret’s,” said Mr. Groebner.

The experience of going to another country will also be offered to French students with an interest to travel to France. “We’ve wanted to do this trip for the last three years, so in a way we’ve been planning it for that long,” said Mme Geving, French teacher and coordinator of the France trip.

Students who take advantage of this opportunity will gain more than they ever could from just in-class learning. “You can hear about it in class as much as you like, but it’s not the same as actually going there and eating the food and being with the people,” said Mme Geving.

Students will not only observe the culture, but live with a French family for five days. “The family stay is a unique opportunity because they learn so much about the French culture in that short amount of time, and it’s a rare thing to be invited to a French family and a French home,” said Mme Hyde.

Mme Geving and Mme Hyde hope to generate interest in students so they can finalize plans, and are willing to accept any students who have completed an upper level French class. “We can’t plan the whole thing until we get student interest, so we’re waiting on them for what we do in Paris,” said Mme Geving.