【明報專訊】What comes to your mind when you hear "school trips"? A workshop in the nearby museum with packed lunches, or a night out in the theatre watching a Shakespearean play? Well, at my school sometimes we have day trips, but other times they are quite a big deal, lasting anything from five days to two weeks in foreign countries near and far.
These trips are organised by various departments in the school: a trip to AAAS (a major science conference) in Washington DC, Spanish exchange in Argentina, Biology trip to Peru and the Galápagos Islands, Charity trips to orphanages or schools in India and Kenya, you name it.
I myself have been on quite a few of them. The last one I went on was a five‑day French trip to Paris, where we immersed ourselves into all the art, culture and, needless to say, food on offer. Musée d'Orsay, Montmartre, Notre Dame (just before it burnt down!), crêpes, baguettes, macarons. Our teachers were our guides and stopped from time to time to tell us the stories behind the monuments. We strolled along the river Seine in the afternoon and had lunch in little bistros, and saw first‑hand the gilets jaunes (yellow jackets) who were protesting. It couldn't have been more French, or more memorable. Other school trips I have been on include history trips to Prague and Berlin, Classics trips to Sicily, Rome and Naples. I would love to go on more. Although they are costly, ranging from £500 to a whopping £3800 for a two‑week trip, I think school trips offer a great opportunity not just to explore new cultures while seeing the real‑life context in which historical events take place or where the language is spoken, but also to mix with people who you don't usually speak to, and just have a great time with friends in an exotic, and usually beautiful setting.
Alice Sze has been boarding in the UK for more than four years. She loves languages. Apart from Chinese and English, she studies Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Latin and Ancient Greek.