Adventure awaits in Europe


Graphic by Erin Carlson.

This summer, students will have an opportunity to take on Europe with their peers and earn academic credits. History teacher Jarret Widhalm is hosting a trip to London, Normandy and Paris.

The eight-day-trip will take place in the beginning of June 2023 and is held through a third party travel company, Educational Tours. The group will have an experienced tour guide with them 24/7 throughout their travels.

The trip pricing includes entrance to attractions, hotels, airfare, and some meals. A tour bus will be provided to navigate through the cities. Students will need spending money for extra things such as souvenirs and a few small meals.

There are several payment plans to choose from, including bi-weekly, monthly, or all at once. A $100 discount was awarded to students who registered before Oct. 7.

The group will visit historical sites and learn more about life and history outside of the United States and connect it back to home. In Normandy they’ll visit Omaha Beach, where D-Day took place in 1944. Omaha has a sister city partnership with the beaches and its surrounding area. Widhalm thinks this trip is a great opportunity for students to expand their understanding of the world outside the US.

“They’ll gain a global perspective to help expand their worldview while overcoming challenges like how to adapt to a new environment when you might not even speak the language,” Widhalm said. “They will gain new skills that they’ll be able to take with them for the rest of their lives no matter what career path they decide to pursue.”

History teacher Barbara Boltinghouse has been hosting these tours for years, and helped Widhalm get started since this is his first. Last summer Boltinghouse took students to Amsterdam, London, Brussels and Paris. Senior Brianna Kiley was one of the students who attended the trip.

“During that trip I feel like I gained a new understanding of how different cultures are around the world,” Kiley said. “We learned a lot about their languages, style and customs that are just a part of their everyday life. I believe that this trip definitely expanded my perspective of the world.”

During their expedition, the group will have plenty of downtime to do additional activities that are not included on the itinerary.

“We were given a lot of free time to explore each city on our own. This was my favorite part because we got to go see and do certain things that weren’t included in the scheduled tours,” Kiley said.

Students and group leaders are also excited about the locations chosen to visit. Widhalm said he put his trust in others for this trip.

“I relied on EF and Ms. Boltinghouse to show me some of their favorite places to take students abroad,” Widhalm said. “I am excited about all the destinations we will be heading to.”

Junior Reece Haith has registered for the trip this summer. She’s most looking forward to exploring France.

“I’m most excited to see Paris because of the fashion in the city, I love seeing how Parisians dress more “bland” than Americans,” Haith said. “I think it will be a good opportunity for me to learn and see more of the world. I’m most excited to see Versailles, the architecture is gorgeous.”