Teacher Plans Summer Trip to Europe
January 14, 2015
This summer students will have the opportunity to attend a 19 day trip to Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France through the organization People to People, an organization that is geared towards providing students with education travel experiences since 1956.
“I have been encouraging students for years to get outside of the Mansfield bubble,” delegation leader Mrs. Byrum said. “International travel would be an excellent opportunity to experience another culture outside of Mansfield, Texas.”
The agenda for the trip includes building a medieval castle using medieval tools, baking apple strudel, viewing Italian art, visiting the Eiffel tower, traveling down the canals of Venice in gondolas, and much more.
“I was really interested in going on this trip for multiple reasons,” junior Mauren Paul said. “First, Mrs. Byrum is amazing and it would be lots of fun to go on this trip with her! Also, I’ve always wanted to travel to Europe and this experience seems like a great way to go. The activities that you are involved in seem to expose you to the different cultures of Europe. Overall, I think going on this trip would be an absolutely amazing learning experience.”
This trip will include various cultural experiences like homestays on an Austrian farm with Austrian families that will help students immerse themselves in European life that goes beyond merely seeing famous tourist locations.
“Seeing the world and learning new cultures is what excited me the most,” junior Paige Grizzle said. “I love seeing how different cultures work and what it is like in other parts of the world, so the fact that this is a hands on opportunity to accomplish all of that is very exciting.”
Experiencing different cultures and seeing the famous sights of Europe will provide students with a wider worldview that will reap benefits for college and for future jobs.
“This trip will provide students with an understanding of various people groups because that is what you will be exposed to in your future adult life,” Mrs. Byrum said. “Students will gain the ability to communicate with a variety of differences, whether it be a language or culture or idea, and still be able to have a relationship with a person. Additionally, students will gain the ability to write their college essays and have something to talk about more than the average Mansfield student would.”
The cost of the trip includes all transportation expenses, round trip air fare, meals, and advertised activities, and students are encouraged to be creative by fundraising to cover some of the costs of the trip.
“I would love to have the option to go in a different year,” Paul said. “It would be beneficial to have extra time to save up money.”
Mrs. Byrum plans on offering and growing this program, as this is her first year to be a delegation leader through People to People.
“I had multiple choices and I have multiple places that I would like to go, but there was a Fort Worth delegation going to Europe and they have some experienced travelers on it,” Mrs. Byrum said. “Since it would be my first time, it would make sense to go with people who have done it before.”
Students who choose to attend will travel with 40 other students from Mansfield and throughout the D/FW area along with other adult delegation leaders.
“I decided that I wanted to take a personal risk and try something that I have never done before, but being with forty teenagers for 19 days straight, 24/7 is intimidating,” Mrs. Byrum said. “But I’m excited about seeing four countries that I have never seen before. I’m excited about being able to apply culture and life experiences to the classroom in Mansfield.”
Attending this trip will give students an opportunity to experience something unique that cannot be found by spending a typical summer at home.
“I am interested in going on this trip because it not only gives me a tour of the areas, but I could get a behind the scenes outlook that most people can’t get,” junior Alyssa Weisblatt said. “It’s a privilege that I don’t take lightly.”
If you are interested in learning more, please see Mrs. Byrum in room R9.