Bushra Choudhury ’19
10 October 2018
This past summer, 30 students and 5 chaperones were invited to expand their horizons and take part in the biennial Europe Trip. The trip embarked on June 29th and returned home on July 11th. The 13 day trip featured stops in London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Lucerne, offering travelers something unique and memorable in each location.
The Europe trip became an official tradition at Passaic Valley in 2010, and since then, there have been four trips. With each trip comes careful planning and given the number of students that attend and the conditions of international travel, the organizing of each trip begins over a year and a half before it takes place. Collaborating with EF Tours, the coordinators of this trip were able to provide students with a safe yet enjoyable experience.
Each day of the trip was filled with adventures and attractions. London was the first stop of the tour, where travelers took part in riding the London Eye, walking down the famed Abbey Road, and admiring the architecture of St. Paul’s Church.
After staying in London for three days, the travelers proceeded to their next stop in Amsterdam. Prior to arriving in Amsterdam, the journey hit a two-hour detour in Brussels, where the travelers had the chance to experience authentic Belgian waffles. Upon arrival to Amsterdam, the students and chaperones were given the opportunity to admire the beauty of the Dutch town on a boat tour before exploring it themselves for two days.
The next stop was Barcelona, and the travelers spent their three days in the cosmopolitan capital of Spain doing many things, such as gazing upon the landmarks of Gaudí and enjoying a day at the beach. Lucerne marked the final, and for many the favorite, stop of the trip. Travelers got to enjoy paddle boat racing, riding on a cogwheel railway to see Mt. Pilatus, and singing the night away at a Swiss folk night.
“Going on the Europe Trip over the summer opened my eyes to seeing European art and learning about its history,” said Lauren Krankel. “Being on the trip made me appreciate the cultures and traditions of the countries I visited.”
Although students can take away memories which will last a lifetime from this experience, trip coordinator Kathleen Dellanno feels there are many other personal benefits students can take from going on this trip.
“It’s unbelievable for me to watch how, in just two weeks, the students become more worldly, learn to navigate a city, and become more independent,” she said. “The cultural awareness that grows within such a short time span is truly remarkable.”
Reflecting on the change that comes with taking part in this trip, Dellanno also stated, “A number of students that attended the trips were so changed by it, that they studied abroad. It gave them the notion that there’s so much in this world to see and that studying abroad could be such a life-changing experience.”
The concept of the trip acting as a catalyst for future endeavors did indeed hold true to the students who attended this year’s tour. “My life will forever be impacted by the trip because I will never forget the different foods I tried and talking to all different kinds of people,” said senior Bianca Dellanno. “In the future, I plan on going back to the countries I visited because I absolutely loved everything about every city I saw.”