Students Get Cultured: A Look at Ms. Terrell’s Annual Student Trip to Europe

Michael Nicholson, Staff Writer

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     Traveling is a dream to some, a reality to others. England, Greece, Italy, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, some of the many previous destinations for an annual trip for students offered by AP English four and Bible Literacy teacher Vanda Terrell, who this summer will take six students to Italy. 

     “I began traveling in 1994,” Terrell said. “I have traveled with students to Europe for 16 years. We took off a year after the terrorist attack.”

     Terrell believes that her annual trips to Europe have educational value, and allows Terrell to make lifelong friendships with her students.

     “I’m really looking forward to the Europe trip this summer,” senior Amanda Campo said. “I can’t wait to experience Italian culture with Ms. Terrell and my classmates.”

     The trip is much anticipated by students who will be participating, planning began in last semester.

     “I had an interest meeting in the fall,” Terrell said. “Then students who were interested sign up. We travel with CHA Tours, an Educational Travel Group who specializes in designing tours for students.”

     This years trip, which begins June 13, includes six students; Michael Lossasso, Mackenzie Magness, Amanda Campo, Jonathan Popa, Hannah Al-Reshed, and Sarah Guido, but in the past has traveled with as many as 21 students and as few as four.

     “Most of the kids have never traveled out of the United States,” Terrell said. “My first year to Greece, my AP English IV students and I had the most amazing experience. As the tour guide discussed Mycenae, we looked at each other amazed that we were actually standing in the same exact spot as Agamemnon from the Oresteia.”

     One of the many perks of Terrell’s European trip is that it is a safe and fun way to travel the world. 

     “I expect this trip to be the time of my life,” Campo said. “This is such a great opportunity for me and my peers because it allows us to experience things in a comfortable fashion that would not be available to me otherwise.”

     Terrell said that she has never had a student return to Texas from a Europe trip disappointed. Trip participants even have an after trip picture party to share the memories.

     “I love seeing the kids’ faces light up at a Shakespearean play, or walking around the Colosseum in Rome, or gazing on the David,” Terrell said. “It never gets old. And the places always hold something more each time I go, because each group is different with a variety of beautiful personalities. [We always have] lots of laughs.”