WJ takes Europe: spending spring break in Spain and Italy


Lily Smith, Arts and Entertainment Editor

For people whose families are horrible at planning trips, having the ability to travel the world on pre-planned trips with friends from school is greatly appreciated. Every year, WJ partners with Education First (EF) Tours to provide students with the opportunity to explore other countries. This year, WJ is participating in two trips: Spain and Switzerland/Italy.

EF Tours focuses on visiting sights that will allow the student travelers to learn about the history and culture of the country. Student groups are accompanied by a tour guide, native to the country, who leads them through the different sights, providing insightful and interesting information.

At WJ, juniors and seniors are given first priority for the trips; if there are not enough students, then sophomores are offered the opportunity to go. Each trip contains a few teacher chaperones, along with parent chaperones. For the Spain trip, Forensics teacher and athletic director Tom Rogers and government and sociology teacher Elizabeth Muehl are attending, and for Italy, the trip is run by history teacher Fred Delello and english teacher Joanne Reynolds.

Most of the traveling done on the trips is on a big tour bus, excluding the flights to and from the country. Students are expected to bring one backpack and one suitcase that will be checked. Students are told to pack light and prepare for the weather.

For the Spain trip, the students visit five different cities: Madrid, Granada, Seville, Costa del Sol and Malaga. In Madrid, students will be taken to the Royal Palace, three different Plazas, Market of San Miguel and the Prado. In Granada, students visit the Alhambra, followed by a city scavenger hunt. After traveling to Seville, students see the Plaza de Espana and the Seville Cathedral. The group then drives to Costa del Sol, where students get a free day on the beach. Finally, the group travels to Malaga and fly back to the United States.

Beginning in Switzerland, students visit Zurich and Lucerne, then travel to Italy and go to Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome. At the start of the trip, students visit famous sights in Lucerne and climb Mount Rigi. In Venice, students get to see a glass-blowing demonstration, Doge’s Palace and other popular attractions. After bussing to Florence, students see the best places in Florence, including Piazza della Signoria and the Gates of Paradise, followed by a visit to the Duomo. The group travels through Assisi to Rome and visit the Basilica of St. Francis before reaching their final destination: Rome. In Rome, students take a guided tour of Vatican City, then take a self-guided tour to see the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and more.

The Spain trip departs on Saturday and is gone for 10 days; the Switzerland/Italy trip departs on Friday and is gone for 10 days, as well. The students, teachers and parents who are attending are extremely excited and are anticipating a spring break full of fun memories and amazing experiences.