By Quinn Goransson - Eagle Staff Writer
This upcoming summer, students from Franklin County High School are coming together to go on a two-week trip to Italy. The trip is sponsored by the History Club under the leadership of Lady Michele Jones. Students always pick the destination for these international trips, and while Greece was briefly considered, the students agreed on Italy.
“When I asked the class where they wanted to go, overwhelmingly it was pretty much all Italy,” stated Jones. The purpose of international trips like this is to get students out of their shell. Going into whole new scenery and experiencing things they thought they never would experience, reading in their history books and then seeing the history before their eyes - it's a powerful experience.
"It gets people out of their comfort zone so students always come back more confident, more mature, and just better able to function in the real world. They get to see all of the things they are learning about in their history books, like learning about the Parthenon and getting to go there and actually witness it. That's always way more powerful than just looking at something in a book," said Jones.
Even with such an exciting trip, there are still concerns and worries for students and staff. Going through every step of the process of boarding the plane, going through security, and keeping track of students can be very stressful. "Things like organizing students, meetings, getting all their paperwork in order, and making sure they get their passports is stressful," Jones stated.
Students have their share of pre-trip stress, too. When asked what her concerns were, junior Zoe Plaster said, "Being in a place where I have no idea what’s going on and people speaking a different language than me and just not knowing everything that's going on. Our teacher told us that we should start learning little phrases and stuff."
Preparing for this trip is very important. There's a lot more that goes into a school trip to Italy than one might think. "We do meetings during activity periods where we talk about what it's going to be like in Italy and different steps that they’ll go through like going through customs, immigration, how to pack for these trips, some Italian phrases and fun little things like that," Jones described.
Later on, parents are part of the preparation. "We have evening meetings with parents where we go through the same kinds of things like general information that they can get prepared to go," explained Jones.
All of this takes time and effort for students and staff. Lots of paperwork takes place, plus getting all health and medical information for students, making room arrangements, planning meals, arranging transportation, and much more. According to Jones, "It’s a lot of work beforehand and it’s very stressful when we get there but it’s worth it."