October 10-October 20, 2013
Open to Students in Grades 7-12
In October 2013 students in Grades 7-12 will have the opportunity to travel to Spain. This is an amazing curricular opportunity will enhance your student's knowledge of Spanish language and culture. Please consider having your student take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. CLICK HERE FOR ITINERARY INFORMATION Please contact Ms. Sarah Landor at email@example.com with any questions.
2013 World War II & the Western Front Travel Course to Europe
2012 Trip to Costa Rica - Pura Vida
The annual St. Benedict Preparatory High School international trip took 15 students and 5 chaperones to Costa Rica. The tropical country gave students insight into a part of the world unlike many had visited before. The theme of the trip was Pura Vida! - a Costa Rican saying that translates into "Pure Life," but is used as an enthusiastic greeting and farewell.
We visited a rain forest reserve and were able to see a variety of plant and animal species, including frogs, iguanas, and sloths. That was followed by a trip to the Arenal region and a trek to the active Paos Volcano, which we were able to smell before we saw due to the overwhelming sulfur odor. The view of the volcano was extraordinary - covered in clouds, but as we approached the clouds dispersed allowing us to see the steam billowing from the crater's mouth.
In the town of La Fortuna we embarked on a steep hike downward to an opening in the rain forest which revealed a beautiful waterfall. We had the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal clear water, just feet from the base of the waterfall - an experience no one in our group had before. Our next adventure was kayaking Lake Arenal where we had the chance to see the enormous volcano as it rose from the Earth. The Fortuna trip was capped off by a relaxing evening at the hot springs, allowing the group to unwind from a physically challenging but remarkable day.
The next stop in the excursion highlighted the change in temperature that comes as one changes altitude in Costa Rica. We came from a hot, humid area and arrived in Monteverde along the coastal divide, a cool, rainy destination. Here we were able to ride horses and visit a school, where we watched students perform traditional Costa Rican dances for us and then they played soccer with us. We also added to the natural environment as every member of our group planted their own tree.
Monteverde held one of the highlights for the trip - our canopy adventure! After being fitted with safety gear and given a lesson on how to zip line, we were off. Our trip started with a 100-foot-long beginner line, then to 350 feet, and on to 1000 feet - all as we hung from the line with nothing below us but a forest of trees, until we approached the final line.
After a ten minute walk and a ten meter climb, our final line awaited - over one mile (5,280+ feet) stretched out over a Costa Rican rain forest with hundreds of feet between us and solid ground. The final journey lasted roughly two exhilarating minutes amid wind and slight rain, but exposed us to the most majestic views of our entire trip as we flew through the open air space.
Next we traveled to the Central Pacific Coast, hiking through Manuel Antonio National Park. There we saw and heard packs of howler monkeys before enjoying lunch on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, followed by free time to swim.
Our final adventure occurred upon our return to San Jose - whitewater rafting! With six of us per boat, we spent an afternoon crashing into rapids, sailing, and swimming in the river- an experience that proved to be another highlight for many of our travelers.
Overall, the trip was an incredible one for students and chaperones alike, allowing us to experience extraordinary outdoor adventures while exploring and enjoying a new culture.
2011 Excurision to the Orient a Success
Nine St. Benedict Prep High School students and two chaperones enjoyed an extraordinary Spring Break experience during a visit to China, touring Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai. We had the opportunity to tour some of China's most historical and culturally significant landmarks.
In Beijing, we enjoyed walking tours of the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, where they were able to view Chairman Mao Zedong's tomb. We also visited pearl and jade factories to learn about two of China's specialized jewelry exports. Additionally, we had the opportunity to tour a middle and high school which had 3,200 students and received a taiji lesson.
The highlight of Beijing was the chance to visit the Great Wall. The group had over two hours to explore and climb the Wall, a task that was quite a workout due to the steep inclines and uneven steps. After the Wall, we visited the Hutong, a historic Beijing neighborhood, where we toured in rickshaws before enjoying an authentic homemade Chinese dinner in a family's home.
After flying from Beijing to Xi'an, we were whisked to an art gallery to view beautiful works of art created by student artists and were taught how to paint letters from the Chinese alphabet, an experience that our students thoroughly enjoyed.
The next day held the jewel of Xi'an as we spent over three hours visiting and learning about the famed TerraCotta Warriors, a collection of over 8,000 manmade clay statues arranged to guard Emperor Qin's tomb. The statues were individually carved over 2,000 years ago and are being excavated and rebuilt by a team of archeologists.
Our final stop on the journey was Shanghai, China's most modern city, which has nearly 20 million residents. While in Shanghai, we visited the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, The Bund, the Shanghai World Financial Center-China's tallest building and Nanjing Road, China's biggest shopping road.
The trip was tremendous and allowed our group to experience the nuances of Chinese culture, customs and cuisine in an educational and enjoyable environment.