PV teacher brings culture to the classroom by traveling the world

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PV teacher brings culture to the classroom by traveling the world

Stephanie Risius and her students made a stop at the Notre Dame de Paris.

Stephanie Risius and her students made a stop at the Notre Dame de Paris.

Cade Collier

Stephanie Risius and her students made a stop at the Notre Dame de Paris.

Cade Collier

Cade Collier

Stephanie Risius and her students made a stop at the Notre Dame de Paris.

Eesha Lawande, Copy Editor

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Stephanie Risius has a passion for traveling that led her to visit 10 countries over the summer and brought her touring total to 42 countries and six continents. But Risius travels for reasons beyond pure enjoyment.

Risius said she learns something different from each country she visits. Whether it is something rather simple, like discovering that the best gelato can be found in Italy, or quite meaningful, like realizing just how fortunate those with clean water really are, Risius comes to a new conclusion with each country she tours. And she always has plans for her next excursion in the back of her head. “There are more countries to see, other cultures, and more people.”

Risius incorporates the knowledge she has gained from traveling in her Spanish classes. She has artwork from museums she has visited and pictures from all of her travels hung around the walls of her classroom. Risius also organizes and accompanies students on international trips to various Spanish-speaking countries, hoping to instill in them her belief in the importance of traveling. She introduces student travelers to different customs, new foods and foreign environments so they can learn to cherish differences and become knowledgeable about different cultures around the world.

Student travelers are able to use communicate in a country’s language thanks to their Spanish classes, but also learn new aspects of a country’s culture that are less easily taught in a classroom.

Senior Aabha Joshi was able to attend the PV-sponsored Spain trip last summer. “Risius has been to Spain many times, so when I went on the trip last year, she served as a great guide and helped us blend into the culture,” Joshi said.

Risius said there are so many differences among various countries, and traveling helps with tolerance, patience, and flexibility. Visiting new places has taught her many life skills, which is why she brings it to her classroom.

After visiting Peru many times, she was saddened to noticed how often material items provide happiness to individuals. She said, “It’s really love and kindness that make the world go around.”

Risius said the kids she has met in Peru have so much love in their hearts and have helped her to have a new outlook on the world outside the United States.

Besides school-sponsored trips, Risius goes to countries to see new structures, meet new people and try new things. Risius plans on continuing to see more of the world…including making it to her last continent, Antarctica.