The SCH Global Travel Program for 2019

By Lilly Soroko

While the New Year is often associated with new beginnings or the adoption and then quick abandonment of resolutions, a new year at SCH offers new opportunities for adventure, education, and self-exploration through the SCH Global Travel Program. The Global Travel Program recently announced Cambodia, China, France, India, and Peru as the trip offerings for the 2018-2019 school year. While students from SCH have previously traveled to Cambodia, France, and Peru, and are traveling to China this year, the trip to India will be SCH’s first.

The trip to India will take place over Spring Break of 2019 and will be chaperoned by Ms. Gross and Ms. O’Flanagan. Rumors of a trip to India have been circulating around SCH for a couple of years, and it has finally become a reality. Students will travel to New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, to visit famous historical and religious landmarks. India is famous for its bustling streets, grand architecture, and its culture deeply rooted in history and religion, and students will have the opportunity to experience it all. One of the goals of the trip is to understand and embrace the contrasts that exist in India, such as those between history and modernity, tradition and innovation, and wealth and poverty.Unlike the historical focus of the trip to India, the China trip over Spring Break of 2019 will be focusing on the modern side of the longest continuing civilization. Introduced as “Contemporary China,” the trip will include visits to financial centers, contemporary art studios, local schools, and even a business challenge working with real Chinese companies. Chaperoned by Ms. Qian, Ms. Diao, and Mr. Wolf, the group of students will travel to Shanghai and experience modern China, and then will travel to Hangzhou, the ancient cultural center of China, to explore famous lakes, pagodas, gardens, and experience Chinese tea culture in a local tea house. In the spring of 2018, students will be traveling to China as well. However, the 2018 trip is mainly located in the countryside and focused on ancient China.

Unlike the historical focus of the trip to India, the China trip over Spring Break of 2019 will be focusing on the modern side of the longest continuing civilization. Introduced as “Contemporary China,” the trip will include visits to financial centers, contemporary art studios, local schools, and even a business challenge working with real Chinese companies. Chaperoned by Ms. Qian, Ms. Diao, and Mr. Wolf, the group of students will travel to Shanghai and experience modern China, and then will travel to Hangzhou, the ancient cultural center of China, to explore famous lakes, pagodas, gardens, and experience Chinese tea culture in a local tea house. In the spring of 2018, students will be traveling to China as well. However, the 2018 trip is mainly located in the countryside and focused on ancient China.

Many of the 2019 trips are returning to previous locations, including Cambodia.The trip to Cambodia during Spring Break of 2019 will be chaperoned by Mr. Glassman and Ms. Farnack. Students previously traveled to Cambodia in 2016, and this trip will be similar but also will include new activities and destinations. Mr. Glassman and Ms. Farnack were also the chaperones for the 2016 trip, so they will be returning to Cambodia with lots of prior knowledge and experience. Students will visit social enterprise initiatives, participate in service projects, learn about the Cambodian genocide, and tour the Angkor Wat temple ruins. Cambodia has an almost 100% Buddhist population, so SCH students will visit religious sites and learn about Buddhism throughout history.

Peru is a trip that also ran in 2016. The 2019  trip to Peru will last twelve days and will be led by Señora Dionne, and Mr.  and Mrs. Zalasky.  Señora Dionne was one of the chaperones for the 2016 trip as well. For the first four days of the trip, students will participate in the Llama Pack Service Learning Project in the Sacred Valley. Here, the group will be helping local volunteers construct a llama park within the Andean mountain ecosystem. Next, the group will travel to Cusco, Aquas Calientes, and Machu Picchu. Students will also learn about the culinary life of Peru by attending a chocolate-making class and a Peruvian cooking class. The last four days of the trip will be spend in home stays in Llachon, a rural community located on the shore of Lake Titicaca. This trip contains many of the same key elements as the one in 2016; however, the service project with Llama Pack is a new addition.

The final trip offering of 2019 is to France, which has become a very popular destination for SCH students, some of whom have taken years abroad in France. The 2019 trip over Spring Break will include the option of an exchange program. This trip will be chaperoned by Mme. Lapp, Mme. Kasten, and Mr. Watt, and has been offered many times over the history of the Global Travel Program. Students will participate in deep language and cultural immersion with home stays for a full week of the trip in Rennes. Students will also visit Paris, the Normandy beaches, Mont St. Michel, medieval fortresses, and much more.

The five trips offered by the Global Travel Program for the 2018-19 school year offer many exciting opportunities for brand-new adventures and fresh perspectives on past destinations.