Every two years, juniors and seniors who have studied French or Spanish have had the opportunity to travel abroad over April break. This year, fifteen students visited Québec City and Montréal in Canada and Costa Rica. Kelly Chapman, high school French teacher, and Matt Kinsella, high school Spanish teacher, spent over a year and a half planning for the 10 days the students would be spending outside of the country.
Mr. Kinsella said, “the foreign language trip is a great opportunity for students to experience things first hand that they have been learning about in their classes throughout high school. The trip gives them a chance to talk with native speakers and practice using the language as well as see the culture for themselves. It is the trip of a lifetime for the students and I am so glad that we are able to provide them with this opportunity.”
Ms. Chapman added, “for me, I love watching many of the students see parts of the world outside of Cortland for the first time. My first trip outside of the country was also my trip abroad in high school and solidified my choice to become a French teacher. I am in contact with a lot of the students I have traveled with in the past and all have mentioned that it has changed their lives for the better. Sharing this experience always reignites my own passion for language learning and I hope to be able to continue to offer this opportunity for years to come and hopefully inspire a new generation of LOTE educators.
Lindsey Bush, a student at CHS, said, “I really liked being able to have full conversations in Spanish and the Hot Springs were nice, too!”
“I think experiencing different cultures is important and that seeing Costa Rica shows us how much we have and how much we take for granted here in the United States.” added Kaitlyn Pratt.
Hannah Aldrich agreed with Kaitlyn and said, “ I think this trip is beneficial to go on in high school because it can help point you in the right direction after you graduate as to what you want to take in college or if you want to study abroad or anything like that.”
Ms. Chapman and Mr. Kinsella hope to plan another trip in the next couple of years to ensure that students at CHS continue to have the opportunity to experience international travel!