Travel opportunities abound at SHS


SHS students enjoy their time at Jaco Beach during the 2012 Spring Break trip to Costa Rica.

You’ve probably heard it said before, and maybe even said it yourself once or twice: “There’s nothing to do in Sheridan.”

Whether or not you agree with this statement, the world offers a wide variety of places to see and cultures and experiences to discover.

I recently returned from a year in México, where I lived with three host families and attended high school. Today, I cannot find the words in any language to summarize how much I learned.

At Sheridan High School, the abundance of classes and staff members provides great opportunity for academic learning. But there is much to learn that is not achievable in a classroom.

So, why is it important to step outside of your comfort zone? College adviser Ed Fessler said, “You expand the knowledge of yourself and really come to learn that ‘home’ isn’t the only place in the world… [Travel] really does make you a better person.”

“Traveling changes the way you view yourself, and even how you view others,” said French teacher Pete Hawkins, “it deepens your comprehension of the world and of yourself.”

During the time I spent in Mexico, I met a plethora of wonderful people, including a variety of fellow exchange students. One fellow exchanger came from Normandy, France. Raphaëlle Delaporte Bordet, who is well traveled throughout many European countries, and many other countries such as Morocco, India, and Slovenia. “I think you can’t really form a personal opinion without seeing other points of view,” said Bordet, “living in another country besides your own is the best way ever to understand new things and grow on your own.”

As young adults, we possess a wonderful window of time and opportunity to travel, learn, and absorb new experiences.

“The younger you start, the fewer obstacles there are,” said Hawkins, “the older you get, the more complicated it becomes to travel.”

Not only are there fewer obstacles for young adults to travel, but there are many opportunities, and several offered right here at Sheridan High School.

How to get started is usually a limiting factor in the determination of to travel or not to travel. Sheridan High School offers many possibilities for travel. For example, a trip to the Eastern Seaboard with social studies teacher Tyson Emborg is offered during Spring Break of 2013. Travel to Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. for a “mind-blowing” experience of where United States history was made. This trip includes not only tours and great sightseeing but freetime in some of the East Coast’s most acclaimed cities. The overall price of this trip is $2,305, with a monthly payment plan of $130 and fundraising opportunities. This is an all-inclusive trip (transportation, accommodation, breakfast and dinner, tours, etc.) and lasts a total of eight days. See Tyson Emborg as soon as possible for more information if you are interested, and start planning.

Another Spring Break is available with “A Touch of the Tropics,” a nine day excursion to Costa Rica with Spanish Teacher Mario Montaño. This adventure is also all-inclusive for $2,485 for students, with a monthly payment of $622. Experience the national reserves of Costa Rica and its unique diversity of wildlife. Visit an active volcano and hot springs, see local schools, and according to this trip’s travel brochure, you should “keep your eyes open for sloths, toucans, and howler monkeys.” Kayla Bowie, a senior at Sheridan High School experience comments about her during last year’s trip to Costa Rica, “I liked the beach, especially because we don’t have that opportunity to see sites like that close to Wyoming.” See Mario Montaño for more information on this adventure.

Looking ahead to summer, a “European Carousel” is available starting on June 11. For 17 days, tour Europe with Sharon Deustcher in seven different countries and in major European cities such as Amsterdam, Venice, Paris, London, and more. Former SHS student Michael Grutkowski remembers two summers of a European excursion with Deutscher, “Both trips were great fun, especially with Mrs. Deutscher, because she provides students with the opportunities to broaden their horizons by experiencing other cultures.” This is an all inclusive trip, and for $4,266, or a monthly payment of $610, you could be seeing some of the most beautiful cities in the world.

If you’re looking for a travel opportunity that offers a more grandiose experience, you might consider academic exchange, or a year of school in another country. The Experiment in International Living is one source for international exchange, which offers year-long and summer exchanges.

Another program that sponsors outbound Sheridanite exchange students is the Sheridan Rotary Club of Rotary International. One benefit of Rotary is that the program connects you with other exchange students from all over the world. Rotary also offers the option of either a year-long exchange or a summer exchange. Prices for these trips vary significantly based on where you go and which program you choose. If you wish to experience another culture completely, or become fluent in a new language, or just get to know yourself in a new way, international exchange is a good idea. If you are interested, contact Ed Fessler, Ada Kirven, Outbound Exchange Officer of our Sheridan Rotary Club, or myself, Maddy Clift, for more information.

Latin philosopher and theologian, St. Augustine said, “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” So fellow Sheridanites, is it time to turn the page?