High School Students to Visit Italy


By Terry Rogers

Approximately 25 Milford High School students plan to travel to Italy over spring break in 2013. The educational trip, arranged through EF Tours, a company that specializes in educational tours, will have students visiting Rome, Tuscany and the French Riviera. In addition, students could add a three-day extension to Paris for an additional fee.

Milford High School Visual Art teacher, Nicole Carter, who will chaperone the trip, says that EF Tours provides the ability for students to learn through direct experience, rather than through classroom or textbook learning. Carter says “there is no equating the viewing of fine works of art like the Mona Lisa in person to what can be viewed on a projector in a Delaware classroom.”

“As an 18-year old, one day after high school graduation, I went to France for a month. Not only did I learn about the beautiful culture, food and people I was privy to meet, I learned some of the language and an entirely new chapter about myself,” Carter explained. “It taught me to be strong with uncomfortable and new situations as well as how to navigate through new experiences. Through EF trips, I hope our students can learn some of these skills as well.”

Students will spend the first three days of the trip in Rome, visiting Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. There is also an optional excursion to Pompeii for students interested in the city. After exploring Rome, students will travel to Florence where they will visit the Duomo, the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio, the Chiesa di Santa Croce and the Gates of Paradise. They will also view a leather making demonstration while visiting the city. After visiting Florence, students travel to Pisa on the French Riviera, seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pisa Baptistery and the Pisa Cathedral. Those who do not extend for the three-day Paris excursion will end the trip in Monaco, touring a French perfume factory and taking a walking tour of Nice.

The three-day Paris excursion has students visiting the Place de la Concorde, Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral.

“Italy has always been on my radar of places to visit, and the opportunity arose to visit,” said senior Alex Huey. “I’m excited to experience a different culture outside of America. I want to experience authentic Italian cuisine.” Ed Huey, Alex’ father sees the importance of a trip like this for the students.

“Alex and his fellow students are growing up in a “global economy” and a much smaller world than we did,” Huey said. “We mailed letters to foreign lands when we were in school and now they can instantly communicate with foreign lands via Skype, Facebook, etc. It will be important in the working world for these young people to have a sense of culture and layout of the foreign lands to enable them to do business with them.”

Melinda Weaver, a senior at Milford, is also looking forward to the trip this spring. Melinda said, “My mom went and said it was amazing and I want to experience it as well. I really want to try the gelato.” Carter hopes that the students get as much out of the trip as she did when she visited France as a young woman.

“The act of travel teaches students through relevant direct experience about the places they are visiting. Many things have happened in other countries that impact our life and culture,” Carter explains. “Being in the place where such transitions have happened provides much more impact than what can be learned second or third-hand in the classroom experience. For example, while in Berlin, you can stand atop the place where they caught Hitler. In Paris, you ascend the Eifel Tower to view the city’s layout with all the lights of the evening illuminating the streets.” Parents agree with her assessment.

“As a parent, I felt this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for my son to see some of the oldest cities in history, and have local tour guides giving the lessons of art and history” Nadine Holleger said. Her son, Austin, chose to extend the trip to include the visit to Paris.

The cost of the trip does not include tips for guides, bus drivers and other service people who make the trip enjoyable for the students. In order to keep the costs down as much as possible, the group will hold a fundraiser at Georgia House in Milford on Monday, December 10, 2012 from 5 to 7 PM. The cost of the buffet dinner is $16.99 for adults, $8.50 for children aged 4 to 12, and children 3 and younger eat free. For tickets, contact Nicole Carter at 302-424-7055 or by email at necarter@msd.k12.de.us.