Students visit Spain, France on foreign language trips

“I think that it is important for people to learn about other countries and cultures so we can better understand our own society and the relationship with other societies,” senior Ege Inanc said. By learning about other cultures, barriers separating societies can be broken, and fewer conflicts can arise. Every year, students from Ames High travel abroad. Many countries are included among the various trips. Some of the most educational trips are those run through the foreign language program. A group of third and fourth year students, usually juniors and seniors, travel to the countries most associated with their respective language. “By traveling to other countries, I will be able to learn things that I would never be able to learn here,” Inanc said. Traveling to other countries provides a unique educational opportunity that cannot be met in a student’s country of origin. On Monday, March 5, a group of fifteen students left for Madrid, Spain. They will learn the language by speaking and hearing it in context. The Spanish trip lasts ten days, and is led by two teachers also fluent in the language. Slightly larger than the Spanish trip, the French trip lasts a full two weeks. The students will tour Paris, Normandy, and Brittney, where they will see chateaus, castles, and world famous museums. Two of the art museums that they will visit are the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. In addition to learning about the history, students will experience the culture and lifestyles of the citizens firsthand when they spend a week living with a host family. The German trip is the largest and longest of the three foreign language trips. Although the students don’t leave until the beginning of June, it lasts three weeks. Like the other two trips, students will learn about the society, history, and culture of Germany. “The students have spent a lot of time raising money to help pay for the trip,” French teacher Stacy Dobernecker said. All of the foreign language classes provide fundraisers where the profits go to help pay for the trip. Students are able to raise this money throughout their high school career. Some of the fundraisers that the students have done are cookie dough, chocolate, and crêpe sales. “The things that the students learn while they are overseas, they will remember forever,” Dobernecker said. “Students may remember a few things from the classroom, but when they learn things in the way that they will, it will be locked into their memories.” Many of the students that go on these trips will grow up to become leaders in society.