By Linda Cheung
During spring break, many students from New Hyde Park traveled to Italy for ten days on the first school-sponsored overseas trip since the beginning of the pandemic. Students traveled to a variety of locations, including Venice, Florence, San Gimignano, Naples, Sorrento, Capri, and Rome.
While school-sponsored trips abroad have been done in the past, this year’s excursion provided many highlights and unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic. Activities ranged from historical sightseeing, such as the Statue of David and Doge’s Palace, to immersive cultural experiences, such as Italian cooking classes and gladiator training.
“I’ve taken several trips. I’ve been to Italy many times with other groups, so I’ve been to all those locations before,” Italian teacher Ms. Maniscalchi said. “Every time you go, it’s always a new experience, you always see things in a different way, so it’s always a learning experience. It’s never something you get bored of. Going to Italy is and has been and always will be a beautiful experience.”
Source by Anna Detke
Ms. Maniscalchi and Mr. D'Ammassa fill the trip with fun and laughter for NHP students.
Students also mentioned the unforgettable impact of overseas travel on a person. For students who have never traveled to Europe before, foreign language trips often leave a lasting impression on those who decide to make the journey.
“Honestly, much of the trip was an extraordinary experience. The boat tour around the beautiful island of Capri had breathtaking views of the blue water and high cliffs,” sophomore Joseph Reo said. “I had a great time in the cities whenever we were given free time because it really allowed us to explore every aspect of the cities and immerse ourselves in the amazing culture.”
Source by Anna Detke
NHP students enjoy the beautiful scenery and chauffeured boat rides along the coast of Italy.
“Some of my favorite highlights were going to get gelato at night and being able to spend free time with my friends,” senior Gina Novello said. “During the day, I loved being on a boat whether it would be the boat tour of Capri or the gondolas in Venice. They were really relaxing and gave so many beautiful views.”
“The experience itself was my favorite part, going to Venice and Florence. Of course, I love the island of Capri, I always try to do that,” Ms. Maniscalchi said. “My favorite part was watching students enjoy themselves. That made it worth it.”
While many students return from the trip with a broadened worldview and memorable adventures, meticulous planning and effort are dedicated to making an overseas trip a reality. Teachers are responsible for chaperoning the trip and keeping students safe.
“Being a chaperone for a school trip is one of my favorite things to do as a teacher because I get to bring students to experience the world,” Spanish teacher Ms. Pincay said. “My responsibilities are many such as making sure students are accounted for, and helping students feel secure and reassured.”
“As the head teacher, the responsibility, of course, lies on me that all the students are safe, that we all get along, that we participate, making sure where we need to be at a certain time, which is a struggle in itself,” Ms. Maniscalchi said.
Moreover, upperclassmen described the fulfilling experience that overseas travel has on a student, primarily students that have future plans upon graduation.
“It’s amazing to travel with your school and be a little closer with your teachers before you leave for college,” senior Eily Montenegro said. “It feels like a reward for finishing high school to let me relax a little bit, but still learn new things.”
Source by Anna Detke
Seniors Gina Novello and Gabrielle Munge, Ms. Maniscalchi, junior Anna Detke, and sophomore Joe Reo delight in the historical monuments in Venice, Italy.
“Throughout all my years in New Hyde Park, I’ve always wished to go. I’ve looked at the older kids going on the trip wondering if that would ever be me someday. It made me so happy that my wish finally came true senior year,” Novello said.
Overall, the Italian trip provided students with unforgettable memories and new friendships, and both students and teachers have experiences to recollect, regardless of the multiple challenges and difficulties encountered.