News About Upcoming Foreign Language Travel Opportunities

Kaylee McMillan, Staff Writer

As part of Latin, French, Spanish, and German classes, students are able to visit other countries and experience different cultures and ways of life. Despite COVID-19 cases increasing throughout the state in recent weeks, many foreign language trips for students are still happening this winter with a few changes. 

The Costa Rica trip is an opportunity for Spanish-speakers and an awesome way to be immersed in the rich culture. Students embark on a two week experience in the nature and lifestyle of Costa Ricans. The only requirement is that a student wishing to go must be a Spanish student and be vaccinated in order to travel internationally. However, determined by Señor Frank, some of the kids get “first rights” depending on seniority or level of interest displayed by the student. 

The average cost for this trip is $2,400 which includes airfare and transportation. Though it sounds pricey, the teams do quite a bit of fundraising for their trips. 

AP Spanish teacher Señor Frank said, “We have some scholarships for kids who are in need… that’s been pretty cool to make that happen and to have kids apply and be able to help them out.”

The actual agenda of the trip consists of Spanish classes during the week and touring the country of Costa Rica while getting immersed in their rich culture. The students do many fun activities like hiking volcanoes and visiting hot springs while also being able to learn language mechanics, slang, and broaden their worldview. 

“In Costa Rica, some of the highlights are living with the host family, zip lining through the jungle, taking surf lessons in Spanish,” said Frank. 

The Germany trip, though different in climate and continent, is just as much of an opportunity for cultural experience and language practice. 

Led by Herr Vaitones, German students embark on a trip to the middle of Europe to see historical and significant sites, experience authentic German culture, and practice speaking the language they work so hard to master. 

“One of the goals is to learn how to travel as an individual… Totally self supported. So we take the trains, carry around bags, walk around the cities, find a hotel, so they feel comfortable exploring stuff that’s totally different,” said Herr Vaitones. “The other is just to kind of get the whole scope of European culture and civilization through looking at Germany.”

Like Costa Rica, this trip takes place during February vacation and is around $1900 – $2300. Unlike the trip to Costa Rica, students who travel to Germany will not take language classes. The trip is mostly sightseeing and experiencing Germany as a whole. 

For Latin students, though their trip is not happening this year, there is hope for an exciting Greco-Roman adventure in the upcoming years. 

Unfortunately, because of COVID-19 confusions and last minute date changes, the Italy trip was cancelled, but usually it is full of exciting adventures and interesting teachings from Magister Olkovikas himself. 

“We see Rome and do walking tours around Rome, archaeological sites and such… The last time we went we climbed Mount Vesuvius… Sometimes we like to do a Naples underground tour, too,” said Olkovikas. 

On this excursion, students stay a few nights touring Rome, visiting places of historical significance, and experiencing the culture of Italy and its Latin roots. 

“We head across Italy and then take a ferry to Greece. And then we see a lot of the really famous sites in Greece Athens, a really cool theater at Epidaurus,” said Olkovikas. “We usually see Olympia, the Parthenon, and then we go to Delphi at the end of Greece which is kind of the spiritual center of the ancient world” 

Many foreign and international opportunities are available for students to explore. Take a look or contact your language teacher for more information or to sign up for one of these amazing trips!