International Adventures

Triton offers multiple traveling opportunities for students this year


Erin Dempsey

In the summer of 2016, the Triton Travel Club went to Ireland, Wales, and England.

Jacqueline Downs, Staff Writer

Imagine this: After a seven-hour flight and the rush of going through customs, you step out of the airport doors and find yourself surrounded by a new culture. The smell of this strange place, the taste of the food, and the sound of a foreign language being spoken by locals excites you.

During the upcoming summer, that could be you. This year at Triton, there are multiple opportunities for students to travel and experience unforgettable experiences, spanning from Peru in South America to Greece in the Mediterranean.

Janice Kovach, a Spanish teacher at Triton, is leading a group of students to Peru this summer. Kovach stresses how important traveling is, especially to those looking for a life-changing experience.

“I feel that its very beneficial to the students, no matter where they travel. It gives a new outlook on the world,” Kovach said. “I think it really is a life-changing experience for them. For me, it’s satisfying to see the students get something out of it, and I learn new things too.”

Triton English teacher and leader of the Travel Club, Erin Dempsey, speaks similarly about the importance of travel, especially at a young age.

“The first time I traveled internationally was to visit my sister in Italy who was studying abroad in college. After that experience, I realized how valuable it really is to be exposed to different types of culture, and I wish I had done it at a younger age,” Dempsey explained.

Senior Abigail Wing visited Ireland, Wales and England with the Travel Club in 2016. Though she was nervous at first, she was glad that she pushed herself to travel without her parents.

“It was nice to be independent for once,” Wing explained. “At the end, it was such a rewarding experience.”

Dempsey hopes that the Travel Club will inspire students to travel after high and college by giving them an opportunity to experience it. Though the next trip is to Greece this summer, Dempsey welcomes any students who are interested in either the Greece trip or ventures in the near future to stop by her room to learn more about upcoming travels.

For students studying French and Spanish, foreign immersions and exchanges are available for each language. Dr. Eben Williams is the coordinator for the application-based Spanish Immersion program which takes Spanish students to Spain every summer. While there, they will go to school and take part in after school activities, such as museum visits, tours, and cooking classes.

Williams has had a wide variety of his own travel experiences, including but not limited to Spain, France, Liberia, Nigeria, Canada, and Sierra Leone, and wants students to take advantage of traveling too.

“I feel that every student should travel,” Williams explained. “Everybody who can afford it should really travel because the younger you are, the better you acquire foreign cultures and languages.”

Regina “Madame” Symonds, a French teacher at Triton and coordinator of the French exchange program, is also preparing for an exchange this year.

“The French Exchange is a school-to-school exchange between Triton High School and the Lycee St. Francois d’Assise in La Roche sur Yon in the department of Vendee in the Loire Valley,” explained Symonds.

This year, the French students will stay with Triton families for two weeks in October while our students will stay with their French families for two weeks in April. Symonds emphasized how important an exchange is to foreign language students to learn more about their respective language of study.

“They are discovering things beyond the tip of the cultural iceberg,” said Symonds. “What’s above the surface is what you see when you’re visiting and exploring a country; You’ll see the monuments and different sites, but you don’t necessarily get to speak the language or understand what is beneath the surface of the culturalized world,” explained Symonds.

Senior Allie Hawkes took part in the French Exchange two years ago and found that being on the exchange helped to influence her interest in travel.

“I think that they influenced me by immersing me in different cultures,” Hawkes said. “I was able to learn more about cultural customs and traditions.”

Symonds stressed the importance of these teacher led trips and why students should take advantage.

“I also had a lot of teachers that did this for me when I was studying French and I felt like it was my turn to give back,” said Symonds.