Students soak up culture in Ireland, United Kingdom
2018-08-08 / Sports and Youth
Students soak up culture in Ireland, United KingdomBy Anthony T. Warzecha
Taking in the standing stones of Stonehenge on the plains of Wiltshire, England, are travelers from Texas Anthony Warzecha (l-r), Heidi Zertuche, Montana Bone, Lauren Davis, Shannon Beers, Mary Lewis, Madison Fitzsimon, Abby Guevara, Bethany Bayer, Jocelyn Spear, Sonia Beck, Michael Herrmann, Alyssa Aicher, Whitney Marsh, and Diana Morlang. The group, from Floresville, Stockdale, Falls City, and New Braunfels, traveled to Ireland, Scotland, and England in July. COURTESY Students from Floresville, Stockdale, Falls City, and New Braunfels school districts embarked in July on an 11-day trip to explore the history, culture, an d literature of Ireland and the United Kingdom, after many months of planning and getting ready for their study abroad.
The group of 10 students and four adults traveled with groups from California and North Carolina July 10-20. We were led by our knowledgeable and friendly tour manager, Sonia Beck, and the travel company, American Council for International Studies, or ACIS.
Sonia Beck (l-r), Jocelyn Spear, Madison Fitzsimon, Shannon Beers, Bethany Bayer, Lauren Davis, Alyssa Aicher, Heidi Zertuche, Anthony Warzecha, Montana Bone, Mary Lewis, and Michael Herrmann visit Hadrianâs Wall, once the dividing line between the old Roman and English empires, while traveling in Ireland and the United Kingdom this summer. COURTESY The trip began with our airplane ride to Dublin, Ireland. In our two days there, we explored the city of Dublin and the historic St. Patrickâs Cathedral. We also explored Trinity College, which houses the Book of Kells â" an illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament, written in Latin. We also were able to experience some Irish dancing lessons by local experts in Dub lin.
On our way from Dublin to Edinburgh, Scotland, we visited the English Lake District and Dove Cottage â" where William Wordsworth lived â" and also visited Hadrianâs Wall. When we got to Edinburgh, we explored the Edinburgh Castle and also hiked and toured the city. We then visited York and York Minister, a grand English Gothic cathedral and one of the oldest in Europe. Before heading to London, we visited the birthplace of Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon. Our final stop was in London, where we took a bus tour of the city, followed by visits to the Tower of London, along with some shopping in the city. We also were able to take a ride on the London Eye and took a side trip to Stonehenge. We finished off our trip with a West End show, seeing the musical, âMamma Mia.â
Overall, this was an amazing trip filled with many memories that will last a lifetime.
âThis trip was an unforgettable experience that helped me to discover a part of the world I had only learned about in class,â said Mary Lewis, a 2018 Floresville High School graduate. âThanks to ACIS, Mr. Warzecha, and Ms. Zertuche, I had an amazing time.â She hopes she can return, and perhaps study abroad in college to revisit some of the places the group went.
Falls City High School senior Shannon Beers said the trip was great because âwe got to experience different cultures and how our lives are different and similar to the people of Ireland and the U.K. It was such an amazing experience and it allowed me to open my eyes to a bigger world. If I had the chance to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat!â
Diana Morlang, an adult participant on the trip, had an amazing time exploring the British Isles. âIt was an opportunity of a lifetime to travel with students and teachers and experience new adventures and lifelong lessons,â Diana explained.
Assistant group leader Heidi Zertuche reflected on the studentsâ experiences on the trip.
âFloresville and our other local districts were very well represented in Ireland and the United Kingdom,â she said. âThe students eagerly participated and seized the day!â
The trip â" according to Alyssa Aicher, a 2018 Floresville graduate â" was âsuper awesome, life-changing, and knocked my socks off!â
As the main group leader, it was very rewarding for me to see the students excited to learn about new cultures. To take students abroad and experience this firsthand is something we will all never forget! It was an honor and privilege to travel with this group and I plan to organize another group in two years. Letâs see where the next trip takes us in 2020!
Anthony T. Warzecha is the AP and Dual Credit Government and Economics teacher and National Honor Society sponsor at Floresville High School.
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