Forty Grade 11 and 12 students from Charles Hays Secondary returned home with a new mindset after a recent trip to Europe.
Charles Hays vice-principal Mikael Russell wanted to give students a broader perspective of all the world has to offer and knew an educational trip would be a good way to instill this.
“I think it’s important students know there’s a larger world out there and that there’s a lot to be gained from it,” he explained.
For CHSS’ Blake Foxall, Kyler Eckess, Savanna Naylor and Kylie Sheperd, the trip opened their eyes and helped sparked new ambitions.
“The trip showed us that the world isn’t this small town named Prince Rupert. It’s a big world with different cultures and different ways of thinking,” said Foxall, adding it was an “astounding experience”.
“It was definitely a trip of a lifetime. It made me want to go out and see the world and has made me set my goals high,” Eckess said.
The first international destination for the group was Italy, with students starting their trip off in a small village outside of Rome.
“It wasn’t a big tourist place, it was just a little town where we got to see how people lived,” explained Naylor.
While in Rome students viewed historical sites like the Vatican and the Colosseum, with both Eckess and Naylor saying pictures don’t do them justice.
The Charles Hays gang also travelled to Florence, as well as Pisa where they saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa, before leaving Italy.
“You don’t realize how much it’s leaning until you’re actually there. I thought it was just a little bit, but it seriously seems like it’s going to fall over,” said Sheperd.
The group then travelled to Greece where they observed the ancient ruins, as well as the Acropolis in Athens.
“I appreciate how they’ve kept everything preserved since it was built,” said Sheperd.
“It’s proof of how long human creation can stand. It was amazing to see,” added Naylor.
For some it was their first international experience and Russell hopes more students will be able to go on similar expeditions in the future.
“I would like to see every Grade 11 and 12 student get the opportunity to do some kind of overseas trip. Hopefully this is the foundation for future trips,” he said.