Spain and France trip to broaden language usage and experience

Allison Pariso | Conant Crier

The front of the t-shirt given to trip participants.

Students currently enrolled in French and Spanish classes at Conant were invited to participate in a travel program for the upcoming summer.

French Teacher Vicki Chriske-Hines explained the trip is different from previous years in that the students will be participating in a travel program solely instead of there being an exchange.

Chriske-Hines added, “After more than 30 years, the French High School Educators in Strasbourg that we partner with are retiring, which led to the switch.”

Chriske-Hines and the Spanish Department Chair Patrick Malloy came up with the idea for a combined trip that would provide opportunities to both Spanish and French students.

Students will be staying in hotel rooms in groups of three or four instead of with families in each of the countries.

The 30 students who signed up will visit many places throughout Spain and France during their trip from May 31 to June 8. Some of these places include the Prado, a museum in Spain; the Louvre; the Arc de Triomphe; and the Eiffel Tower. The students will start out in Spain and then take an approximately six-hour flight to France on June 5 for the second half of their trip.

Chriske-Hines said, “The students are not only going to Madrid and seeing the sights and many works of art, but they are also getting a private tour of the Real Madrid Soccer Stadium. In Paris students will see the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, and take an evening boat ride on the River Seine right through Paris.”

Emily Ciolak,18, said, “I signed up for the trip because it seemed really fun and my friends were going, too. I’m most excited to see the Palace of Versailles because I’ve heard it’s really pretty.”

Tia Devito, ‘18, said, “For someone that had never been out of the United States before, it seemed like an amazing experience.”

The trip cost a total of $3,590 per student. The payment was made in three to four installments. The students could participate in a Yankee Candle fundraiser in the fall in order to reduce their overall price. Some students reduced their overall total by $400.

Chriske-Hines said she and the other World Language teachers going on the trip, including Malloy, Heather Doan, Brian Drenth, and Anthony Spizzirri, see the trip as an opportunity for the students to enhance their language experience and usage.

Chriske-Hines added, “We hope that student participants develop a love for the language and culture that will last a lifetime.”

Amber Nicholson, ‘18, hopes to get a new perspective out of this trip. She said, “I want to experience the country for what it is, not for what it’s advertised to be. I want to expand my comfort zone.”

Students are encouraged to continue their language studies in order to participate in the next trip in a couple of years.

Allison Pariso

Allison is a senior and the news editor for the Crier. This is her third year on the staff. She is also involved in Speech Team, National Honor Society, and Student Council. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and watch Netflix.

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