On the road again | News, Sports, Jobs
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Journal is cooperating with the New Ulm High School Journalism Program to provide students with the opportunity to present their work. We will occasionally feature articles written by NUHS on our Weekend Lifestyle page. Today , we become Anna Lee.)
School trips take on a whole new meaning at New Ulm High School. This is no ordinary day trip to a museum. These trips involve everything from traveling by car to another state, obtaining your passport, and flying to another country or even a continent. In the past, students have traveled to Europe and Costa Rica. The newest addition is the next trip to Branson, MO.
These trips are led by teachers from New Ulm High School, with Robert Bute leading the Europe trip, Meredith Gunderson leading the Costa Rica trip, and Jessica Koehler leading the Branson trip.
Bute, a high school humanities teacher, has been leading the trip to Europe since 2008. Each summer, he takes a group of students to explore the many famous attractions dotted across the continent. Some of these attractions include the Eiffel Tower, the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, Notre Dame, the Collesium and more. “[The students] see more things in two days than the people who actually live there â, said Bute. Some notable cities they visit include London, Paris, Milan, Florence, and Rome. For some students, this is the first time they have traveled without their parents.
“The pupils have the chance to watch over each other … and to be a little adult” said Bute. Students can also experience a different culture and meet and interact with people from different countries. “People are people everywhere you go … people are friendly” said Bute. He adds that having these interactions with people from different cultures can help break down barriers and stereotypes. After 13 years, “Watching the kids discover these places for the first time, watching this excitement is the reason I keep going” said Bute.
The trip to Costa Rica is new for New Ulm High School as the first trip took place in early August, led by Gunderson, a high school Spanish teacher. She plans to continue offering the trip only to students who have completed their second year of Spanish. It is advantageous for students to have experience in the language because “[they] will understand a new culture and [having] the opportunity to use their new language skills â, said Gunderson. During the trip, students participate in many fun and exciting activities such as ziplining, dancing, and a boat cruise. They can also swim in Costa Rica’s natural hot springs, take a coffee tour where they learn how coffee is made, from bean to brew, and a chocolate tour where they learn how to brew coffee. chocolate is made, starting with the bean until the chocolate bars. On this last trip, the students also helped clean up and plant grass in a public park. âIt’s fun to see all the students discover a new cultureâ¦ and [be exposed to] difficult situations. [Iâm] proud that they pushed themselves out of their comfort zone â, said Gunderson.
The latest addition to the selection of trips to New Ulm High School is Branson, MO, in March 2022. This trip is led by Koehler, the group and high school choir teacher. This is the first time she’s leading this trip, and the first time the orchestra and choir have taken a bigger trip since teaching in high school. “[Weâll see] how is a short trip, and then we will see for a larger trip where we fly [somewhere]. We take baby steps â, Koehler said. They chose to go to Branson, MO because it is very similar to Nashville with its musical environment. While in Branson, they will attend concerts and musical performances, and the group and choir will work with clinicians to perfect their concert music. “[The students] will be able to share their music and get comments and tips and tricks on their music â, Koehler said. They will also do sightseeing, visit the Titanic Museum, and have fun go-carting, rock climbing, and mini-golf. “[Itâs exciting] get out of Minnesota and have time for students to forge closer ties and discover a new environment â, Koehler said.
Although these three trips are very different, they all have one thing in common: students who live outside their state, country and even continent. It is a unique opportunity.