Students take an opportunity to dive into culture


This summer, students will travel to France and Spain for a 10-day trip full of culture immersion and new places to see. In February 2021, current sophomores and juniors signed up for the trip that will run May 30 to June 8. Social studies teacher Mrs. Katy Salzman was surprised when all slots were filled in three hours. After a discussion with administration, the second trip that will run June 14-23 was opened. Dr. Sharon Genoways and Mrs. Jen Christen will chaperone the May trip while Salzman will chaperone the June trip. 

This trip will cost a little more than $4,000 but will include airfare, train and bus expense, transportation to and from airport and hotels, two meals daily and hotels. The students are responsible for lunch every day. “I’m so excited to be in Europe with all my friends and I’m so thankful for this experience Marian is providing,” junior Chloe Samuelson said. 

Although COVID is not the headline of today, Salzman is not as worried about COVID exposure. Everyone attending the trip is vaccinated and boosted. The European government does not require testing to enter the country, but when the trip concludes, everyone needs to be tested to reenter the United States. If someone has COVID, they will have to quarantine an extra five days in Europe. Despite the stress this will add, no one is sure if this will still be the case when the trip commences. 

During the 10-day adventure, students will spend three nights in Paris, two in Avignon, and a quick day trip to Couillourve, France before heading to Barcelona, Spain for three nights. They will visit many popular sites including the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum. While in Avignon where the weather is sunny and the area beautiful, students will have the opportunity to visit Roman ruins and historic sites along with the old seat of the Catholic church. 

For many students, this will be their first international trip and first stamp in their passport. “My motivation to organize these trips is to help students realize that it is not that difficult to travel to another part of the world and to experience something different and fascinating. I hope it inspires students to study abroad, to go back again, and to be interested in learning about new cultures and places,” Salzman said. 

When in France and Spain, students will have an opportunity to use their language skills to engage in typical conversations, such as greetings or ordering off of a menu. “The neat thing on the trip is that there will be both French and Spanish students. So when we are in France, the Spanish students depend on the French students to help them. In Spain, it’s the opposite. They help each other out,” Salzman said. “It really is a cultural immersion in many respects.”

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