World Language Reschedule Travel Excursions for the 2021-2022 year


Media by Carter Van Buskirk

The 2022 France trip is scheduled to take place during next year’s spring break in Paris and Versailles. The 2022 Spain trip is scheduled to take place during summer break in Madrid, Granada and Saville. Both trips were rescheduled from COVID-19 cancellations during the 2020 school year.

After a year of travel restrictions and cancelled trips, the World Language Department has begun rescheduling their immersive travel excursions for the 2021-2022 school year.

Della Thompson, French teacher, was responsible for making the decision to cancel last year’s Paris trip. After a year of planning, she will continue to organize and chaperone the trip coming in the spring of 2022.

 “The uncertainties of the pandemic and the need to keep students safe has made it more difficult than usual,” Della said. “We feel the trip will be successful this time if the health trends continue to improve.”

Thompson has planned for morning French conversational classes at a local school followed by afternoon tours to a variety of locations around the city. Some of these sights include the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Montmartre, Jardin du Luxembourg, Palace of Versailles and more.

Thompson said she was very disappointed the trip had to be cancelled last year. She and Emily Thompson, French teacher, are looking forward to getting back to France and introducing a country they love to their students. 

“Students will have the chance to experience a culture that they have only studied and to improve their language abilities by working with native speakers,” Thompson said. “Through travel, students will also learn communication and leadership skills. This kind of guided trip is a stepping stone on the path to future solo travel and even studying or working abroad.”

Kami Matthews, junior, is attending the Paris trip to gain exposure for her future studying abroad. Matthews has been learning French since elementary school because of her interest in foreign languages.

It is one thing to hear about it, but it is another to live it. It will improve their comprehension and it will give them confidence when going abroad again.”

— Kelsey Smith

“I decided to learn French because I loved speaking it, writing it and reading it,” Matthews said. “Then, when high school came, I decided to stick with it because I knew the French trip was going to take place and allow me to experience the culture first hand. I hope to eventually study abroad in college, so this is a great start.”

Matthews said she wants to immerse herself in French culture. She is excited to visit art museums, such as the Louvre, to showcase her knowledge of art she learned in French four.

“I am looking to experience conversations with all types of French speakers,” Matthews said. “I want to know what a student’s daily life is and how it is different from ours back home. I am also looking forward to sharing anything about life in America with the people I meet in France. I am most importantly looking to apply everything that I have learned in class and use it in France.”

Kelsey Smith, Spanish teacher, is chaperoning the trip to Spain during the summer of 2022. Smith plans for the group to visit Madrid, Seville and Granada.

“This is an awesome opportunity for students who want to become more fluent in Spanish and to learn more about the culture we study in class,” Smith said. “It is one thing to hear about it, but it is another to live it. It will improve their comprehension and it will give them confidence when going abroad again.”

Smith said the trip will not be a trip solely focused on tourism. Students will live with a Spanish family which will give each student a look into typical life in Spain.

“Each student will get their own family and they will do whatever the family does,” she said. “There is no set agenda with the families. It will be a great opportunity for them because they will be living with native Spanish speakers. It helps the students learn and it gives the Spanish family an opportunity to learn more about life here in St. Louis.”

Like those attending the France trip, Smith and her students are thrilled to have an opportunity to experience life in a different country that they can then transfer back to the classroom at MHS.