Trips Abroad


Students from Parker Charter School explore the tip of Morgans Bluff, the highest point of the island, on their school trip to Andros Island, Bahamas.

Luke Ledger, Staff Writer

Many high school students graduate with a plan to go straight to college or begin their lives in the work industry, but what many don’t consider taking is a semester abroad. Some students fear the distance from home, as well as starting late for college or their profession of choice but the risk is worth the reward here. 

Why risk that for some trip to another country? What most aren’t aware of are the benefits both academically and personally one can gain.

Gap programs have been created for students to get first-hand experience with different cultures, professions of interest and foreign languages, as well as just getting to see the world from a different perspective. 

Lots of high schools offer these trips to their students, like Parker Charter School, which recently took a group of 14 students to Andros Island, Bahamas. On this trip, students were able to study marine life and biology, as well as the culture on the island. They spent half the week in the water, snorkeling along the barrier reef, studying sea life and the importance of the ecosystems, and the other half on land working with locals and getting experience with a much different culture than that seen in the US.

Many believe taking these trips only benefits you if it applies to your intended major, or occupation. This is not the case. In fact, many take these trips for the cultural and diverse experience of living in a different environment.

“You have to conserve water, you have to conserve electricity, it’s a different environment and one that is fairly uninhabited… you get a touch of the land,” said Parker student Sophia Brezel.

“Everyone in the community shares things with each other, their doors are always open… It’s a very small community on a really large island.”  Said Angevin Argow, another Parker student.

“People get up, go to work, eat, go to sleep, repeat,” said Brezel. “It doesn’t leave room for exploring and adventuring and I think that’s one thing that these opportunities can really bring and can be a big eye opener and really light up someone’s heart.”I was scared about being disconnected from my family for that long. Having that separation caused me a lot of anxiety, but that experience, I will always cherish forever.”

These programs are often overlooked, especially when they aren’t offered to the majority of students in high school. It is important that they are aware of these opportunities to do so after school, as it can strongly benefit a student in both finding a hobby or career path and can open their eyes to the world around them. 

Students get used to the comfort of their lives at home but taking these trips to study abroad, even for a few months, has the ability to alter their outlook on the world around them.