Spartan Shield

Why the Spartans love school trips

Divya Vashisht, Opinion Editor

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Every year, Pleasant Valley High School hosts many trips that students can go on. Beautiful places like Greece, Cuba, and Peru are often the destinations. Students and teachers always have a wonderful time exploring different countries with their friends.

This summer, Stephanie Risius will take students to Europe for 17 days. They will be visiting London, Paris, Switzerland, and Italy in June. There will also be two volunteer trips going to Peru. Risius believes traveling is very important for students in order to appreciate the world. “I think travel opens up minds to the world around us, and helps appreciate other cultures, as well as our own”

Risius believes traveling can help students explore themselves. “I think you learn a lot about yourself as well as others when you travel and step out of your comfort zone. These 2 trips are so different, but both have value. As a language teacher, watching the kids use their language outside the classroom is pretty powerful.”

Risius has been on many trips over the years. From South Africa to Cuba to Spain, every trip has been an adventure that she and the students will remember forever. In 2020, Risius is planning trips to Costa Rica and Peru. A huge benefit of going on the Peru trip, besides getting to meet and help the inspiring kids there, is that students can earn 40+ hours service learning hours for graduation credit.

Risius has seen students take away many things from these trips. “Besides some amazing bobble heads and alpaca keychains, they take away so many things: appreciation of their own culture/country, tolerance, responsibility, flexibility, independence, cultural and global awareness, photos, memories, lots of laugh lines, and friendships that last a lifetime!”

Brenner Stickney, a senior at Pleasant Valley, recently went on a trip to Spain over the summer. He had a wonderful time and really enjoyed exploring the country with his friends. Stickney described his favorite part of the trip as, “trying different types of food and learning to speak Spanish better.” Stickney would definitely visit again with his group, and he recommends that others go as well. He says it’s fun to just get out and explore; traveling with the school helps you communicate with others better.

Lilly Parker, also a senior at Pleasant Valley, accompanied Stickney and 13 others on the trip to Spain. Parker said she had an amazing time with her friends and Risius. Her favorite part of the trip was visiting historical monuments and meeting new people. She recommended for others to visit. “It improves your Spanish and it immerses you in the Spanish culture. It was fun to be independent in another country and spend way too much money on souvenirs,” she added.

As Stickney and Parker mentioned, traveling to different countries can allow individuals to discover other cultures, develop new skills, and create memories that will last a lifetime. There are still spots available for the Europe trip as well as the Peru trips.

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