Students travel along the Sicily coast in annual language trip

The foreign language Sicily trip students explore the ancient ruins of The Valley of the Temples in the city of Agrigento.

Courtesy of Leah Doubert

The foreign language Sicily trip students explore the ancient ruins of The Valley of the Temples in the city of Agrigento.

Leah Doubert, Opinions Editor

Over the recent April vacation, 27 Schreiber students participated in the Language Other Than English Department’s (LOTE) annual trip to a foreign country.  This year, the students were fortunate enough to travel to Sicily and learn about the history, culture, and language of the island.  The trip took place from April 16 to 24, and was supervised by Señora Evelin Joseph, Ms. Carol Ferrante, Mr. Philip Crivelli, and Mr. David Miller.

The students and their staff supervisors had the opportunity to travel to the Sicilian cities of Palermo, Trapani, Agrigento, and Catania, among many others.  While visiting these cities, members of the trip visited landmarks such as Mount Etna, Teatro Massimo, the Monreale Cathedral, and the medieval city of Erice.

“I felt privileged to be able to experience the diverse history, culture, landscape, and cuisine of Sicily.  I loved learning about the Roman and Greek influence on the island as we walked around amazing ruins in the towns of Agrigento, Erice, and Siracusa.  It was truly a memorable trip,” said World Languages department teacher Sra. Joseph.

Many of the students felt that they learned about Sicilian culture largely through the food they were served throughout the trip.  Between all the restaurants they ate at around the island, students had the chance to try dishes traditional to Sicily, including pasta alla norma, arancini, and panelle.

“For me, one of the most interesting parts of the trip was seeing what was customary for people in Sicily to eat,” said junior Ali Martinez.  “We were exposed to a lot of foods that aren’t typical to eat in the US, and we didn’t all like everything we tried, but it gave us all the chance to try something new and dive even deeper into the culture.”

Many students credited the trip with encouraging them to befriend students whom they had not interacted with prior to the trip.  Over the course of the week spent together in Sicily, all of the students who participated were able to feel a closer connection to each other.

“The trip to Sicily was a great way to meet people from other grades that I had never had the chance to before.  We also had the chance to have some freedom to explore the cities,” said senior Piper Woods.  “It was a really fun trip.”

Overall, the Sicily trip turned out to be a tremendous success.  It allowed students to form new bonds with both each other and the supervisors, while also exposing everyone involved to an area with a unique culture and history.  All of the students and staff were appreciative to have gone on such an educational, yet also entertaining, trip.

“Sicily was amazing,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Miller.  “It was filled with culture, beauty, and a rich history.  It was an incredible place to visit.  But for me, the best part was being able to travel with our students.  It was an immersive experience and I will never forget the connections we all made with each other.”

The LOTE department is organizing a trip to the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona next spring.  For more information on how to sign up for the trip, contact Sra. Joseph or Ms. Ferrante.