Lily is a member of the Class of 2021. She joined the school newspaper in her sophomore year as a staff writer. As a freshman, Lily had creative writing...
School 2020 Trip to Greece and Italy
A Great Way to Learn History, Art, Geography, and more.
May 29, 2019
Abington High School’s Global Education trip to Greece/Italy will take place in February of 2020. It was offered to rising juniors and seniors. Those who were accepted into the trip found out in January. The trip will be run by EF tours and include round-trip airfare, transportation, and breakfast and dinner daily. The group will be accompanied by a full-time Tour Director. In addition to the tour director, AHS chaperones Ms. Gerhart, Mr. Holzman, and Mr. Donahue, and Mrs. Peck will be accompanying the 27 students.
Sophomore Aleena Magnasco, one of the 27 students, said she chose this trip over the Peru trip because she has “always wanted to go to Greece and Italy so it was an easy choice.” She also is looking forward to seeing Athens because her great grandfather is from there. When asked why she decided to go next year instead of waiting until her senior year, she said, “I felt that I should not pass up the opportunity to go on such a great trip and decided not to wait until my senior year. But if there is a trip I’m interested in for next year I will probably consider it.
Itineraries were given out for both trips. Here is a more in depth explanation of the trip. The trip begins with the group flying into Greece on a 10 hour overnight plane ride and touring Athens in the morning. In their five days in Greece, they will tour major historical sites like the Plaka District, the Temple of Zeus, Olympic Stadium, Syntagma Square, Acropolis, Delphi Museum, Temple of Apollo, and the Meteora monastery. On the fifth day of the ten day tour, they will go to Igoumenitsa and travel on an overnight ferry to Ancona, Italy. The group will travel to Florence and tour Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, Chiesa di Santa Croce, Gates of Paradise, and The Duomo. They’ll also spend a day in Rome and see the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Mr Holzman said he has always been “fascinated by the history of that city [Rome]. There are new buildings right beside ruins that are thousands of years old. Also, the intersection of culture and religion is amazing.” The group will spend a day in Vatican City to see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica too. Then after the ten days, they’ll depart home for Boston.
The first Global Education trip was to Italy in 2014, led by the former school library Mrs. Crowley and Abington Middle School English teacher (formerly an English teacher at the high school) Mr. Regalbuto. The following year there was a trip to Paris in April of 2015. Other Global Education trips have been to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, and Iceland. The students who go on these trips often come back with a new way of looking at the world, mainly understanding how much bigger the world is than the four walls of the High School. Global Travel also gets students prepared to travel on their own when they’re older, without parents helping with everything. And, it offers students a sense of freedom and brings those who are on these trips closer together. After spending over a week in a new place with people, they often bond over the whole experience.
Meet the Chaperones
2020 Global Education Trip
Mr. Holzman has traveled a ton throughout his life. He has actually traveled to both Italy and Greece, so this trip will not be new for him. He traveled to Italy with his family and Greece on a past school trip. He’s “excited that students will be able to travel to somewhere both so culturally and historically rich.” He also wants students to “experience different cultures and see the real world, not that on some phone screen.” Mr. Holzman said that these Global Education trips help students “to learn that despite superficial differences, they have a lot in common with other people from around the globe.” As to why this trip was planned, he believes “so much of what students learn in school can be traced back to those civilizations: math, literature, history, design, etc. Also, each of those destinations is home to amazing works of art and architectural marvels.” He is also looking forward to this trip because “the food is amazing!”
In addition to his previous Italy and Greece trips, Mr. Holzman has traveled to Quebec, Aruba, Bahamas, England, Ireland, France, France, Switzerland, Germany, Lichtenstein, and Iceland. When asked if he was looking forward to seeing the history of the two countries, he said, “ I love history! In high school, I was fortunate to have had a great history teacher named Mr. Cole. He was so passionate and always encouraged his students to imagine putting themselves in the context of the civilizations they studied. When you are literally standing in such magnificent locations, it is far easier to feel connected to history.”
Mr. Donahue, one of the four chaperones for the 2020 trip, was also a chaperone for Abington High’s Global Education trip to Greece last year. “The trip was amazing and it was always one of the top places to go on my [his] bucket list,” he said. Like Ms. Gerhart, Mr. Donahue recently traveled to Germany, Austria and Switzerland on a school trip. In the past he has traveled to Ireland, Aruba, St. Martin, Toronto, Canada, Montreal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico He has also traveled to Iceland and Greece on previous Global Education trips as a chaperone. He is looking forward to seeing Italy. He said, “I loved Greece and many people have told me that Italy is even better.” Like Mr. Holzman, Mr Donahue has “always loved history” and is “fascinated by World War I and II and just the history of Europe in general.” He said he “has had some great history teachers to thank for that.” About the students he said he “loves seeing students experience something so different and enriching. They see different cultures yet can realize they are similar to people from around the world. I love seeing the students enjoy these experiences and not have their attention on their phones all the time.”
Ms. Gerhart just returned from the April 2019 trip to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and will be traveling on another school trip next year. She has never been to Italy or Greece before and “is excited to explore new parts of the world.” Ms. Gerhart said that “the Greece and Italy trip was planned because a lot of students showed interest in traveling to Italy or Greece so we [chaperones] decided to make it one trip.” Ms. Gerhart likes to travel. In addition to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, she has traveled to the Bahamas twice, the Dominican Republic once, and just went to Paris in January with other teachers going on a school trip next year.
Mrs. Peck , like Ms. Gerhart, has never been to Italy or Greece. She is the 2020 class advisor and a tutor at the school. Although she hasn’t been to either, she traveled to Paris in January. She has also traveled to Canada, London, Belize, both East and West Caribbean, Alaska, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Bahamas. This February, she took 21 AHS students on a Global Education trip to the Dominican Republic. This was Abington’s first service trip experience. As for next year, Mrs. Peck said she is “looking forward to seeing the Sistine Chapel, Roman Catacombs, Olympic Stadium, and Vatican City because learning about the 15th century in Mr. Moore’s class piqued my curiosity.” She added that “to see in person what we were learning about will be an amazing experience.” Mrs. Peck said she hopes the 27 students going on the Greece-Italy trip “learn the importance of history and how it has shaped and continue to shape our world. I think it is important for kids to experience different cultures, for example, their foods how they live, their music and art.”