By: Paige Melillo and Abby Malizia
We interviewed some of the group leaders of our international trips at WHS to find out what it really like to travel and be a leader of one of.
Ever wanted to go on one of these trips? Are these trips for you? Here at WHS, there are multiple amounts of trips with some of your favorite teachers. Our school works with Education First Tours or EF Tours to help plan and make these trips a once in a lifetime experience. Some teachers that have led these trips are John Sand, Drew Nicholas, John Martin, Shannon Belanger, and Patricia McGrath, just toname a few.
Over the past 15 years, WHS teachers have taken students to Costa Rica, Greece, Belize, Ireland, Spain, England, France, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand, plus many more to come.
Mr. Nick is an English teacher at WHS and has been working with EF tours for over ten years and has gone on 12 trips. He has been to France, Spain, Italy, London, Costa Rica, Ireland, and Greece. I interviewed Mr. Nick last week to find out more about these trips and what's it like to be a leader.
When asked about what types of students he looks for, Nicholas said, “Students who have an intellectual curiosity, someone who wants to broaden their horizons opens their world view and wants to go and learn, different from book learning in school, experiential learning not something you would necessarily see in a museum.”
Being a leader of these trips for so long, Mr. Nick has definitely gotten the hang of it. “It’s a lot to do, but you have months to do it.”
Shannon Belanger is a Math teacher at WHS and has been involved in the EF tours as a chaperone for one trip to Australia/New Zealand and has taken trips with them as a student as well. She has now been on both ends, the stressful chaperoning and the fun as a student. I got together with Mrs. Belanger last week to discuss the trip altogether, fun parts, stressful parts, and the experience.
During the interview, I asked Belanger what makes her want to go back on more trips, and she said, “Sharing my experience with not just the culture but the memories. There is so much more to it than just going and seeing and doing things.”
Belanger enjoys the bonds she is able to make with fellow students when it comes to plane rides, bus rides, and just free time around the resorts.
Though there is stress that comes along with the beautiful trips. These teachers volunteer their time to let us students enjoy the trip while keeping it as safe as possible. When asked the main fear fellow chaperones have experienced, Belanger said, “I think the hardest part is the unknown.”
Mrs. Belanger is planning an upcoming trip to Germany and Switzerland for all grades in Summer 2021.
With all the feedback given from chaperones themselves, what would make you not want to experience these trips? The bonds you create, the things you get to experience, they are all once in a lifetime. From warm sunshine to brisk cultural experience, there are so many trips available that could fit your preference. What’s stopping you?
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.