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Foreign language students destined for foreign countries

Spring break trips to Costa Rica, Italy offer face-to-face cultural experience

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Art by Yi Zhu

Art by Yi Zhu

Art by Yi Zhu

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Ciao and hola! Students are flying into adventure this spring break, as those taking any Spanish class will get the chance to travel abroad to Costa Rica, and students taking any Italian class will get the chance to explore Italy. The planning initially began at the beginning of this school year, starting in August and cruising into final formation in October, which included written proposals to the administration for approval of the expeditions. At the head of navigating these excursions is Italian teacher Ms. Mirella Rullo and Spanish teacher Mr. Kurt Paprocki. To receive general interest on destinations, both teachers corresponded with the travel agencies on options and then created student polls to decide on preferences.

“I am looking forward to being fully immersed in the Italian culture,” said junior Sara Hankinson. “Instead of just looking in books at pictures of the landscape, the food and the people, I will get to be there and experience it for myself.” The Italian trip is soaring into exploration in Milan and will get a chance to soak up some sun when making additional stops to Venice, Verona, Florence, Assisi and Rome.

“Different students make the traveling experience special and it’s that group experience that makes the whole trip worthwhile,” said Ms. Rullo.

Spanish students are touring their way into the tropical mysteries of Costa Rican life.

“I’m really excited to get to share this first time experience with many of the students and to enjoy traveling in a different aspect than when we went to Spain,” said Mr. Paprocki.

The trip to Spain two years ago involved a more urban, city-life touring experience whereas excursions in Costa Rica will explore the natural, cultural aspect of the country. These itineraries will allow students to gaze at the beauty of nature, experience local traditions and absorb exotic journeys to paradise.

“It’s really important to get away from textbooks and IPads; especially to learn a language, students have to be aware of the culture and to make those connections by experiencing it for themselves,” said Mr. Paprocki. Additionally, this year, Principal Mrs. Karen Love will be accompanying the Spanish group to Costa Rica.

“It will be an exciting opportunity for her to get to know the students and share in the culture with them,” said Mr. Paprocki.

Both Ms. Rullo and Mr. Paprocki expressed the importance of world travel and gaining practice with their respective languages outside the classroom.

“Going abroad is such a wonderful experience, since you can see first hand a different culture, speak the language and interact with locals, which allows you to come away with real experiences that are different from those you experience on a regular vacation,” said Ms. Rullo.

Overall, with their colorful landscapes, flavorful menus and breathtaking wonders, Costa Rica and Italy will offer students the opportunity to discover a sunny side to their languages. Through these spring break trips, students are exploring the world one language at a time.

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Foreign language students destined for foreign countries