St. Joseph students, volunteers to see Italy, France

Published 9:35 am Thursday, March 29, 2012



Every two years, the staff at St. Joseph High School plan a trip abroad for students as both cultural enrichment and education. This year, 48 students and 15 chaperones will visit parts of Italy and France in their 11-day excursion to Europe. The trips are organized through EF Tours, which plans and executes educational tours.

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The trip begins in Rome and includes visits to the Italian cities of Pompeii, Florence and Pisa; The Vatican; and the French cities of Paris, Nice and Versailles; Monaco and the French Riveria.

What do the students and staff most want to see?

“The city of Rome, I heard, was really nice,” Glennie Hopkins said.

Cecili Weber is looking forward to Paris.

“I want to see the Eiffel Tower and we’re touring a perfume factory,” Weber said. “I think it will be neat to see how they create perfume.”

Grant Geswein said he is most excited about seeing Vatican City, “Because we learn so much about it in history and it will be nice to see all the stuff and learn about it. The artwork is going to be amazing.”

Teacher Maria Whaley wants to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Whaley has made other trips to Europe as part of the St. Joe group and said the trips are always worthwhile.

“I think when I got there (on past trips) some of the things that touched me were not the big things, the tourist attractions. I was not prepared for the Coliseum (in Rome). To think what happened there, it was an amazing experience,” Whaley said. Whaley said another experience for students will be the experience of Mass in another language.

Justin Mahlmeister said he also wants to see some of the familiar structures such as the Eiffel Tower and the leaning tower of Pisa.

“We’ve seen pictures of it but it will be neat to go there and see it for yourself,” Mahlmeister said.

“I’m looking forward to The Vatican because I’m Catholic and I think it will be really cool to see,” Joseph Payton said. Likewise, Shannon Litton is eager to see the Sistine Chapel.

While this will be the first trip abroad for some of the students, others remember the fun of earlier trips and are eager to see and even taste the offerings of Europe again.

“The last time I came back with about 10,000 pictures,” Katelyn Compston said.

The delegation leaves April 9 and will return April 20.