From Thailand to Berlin, Volkmar set to lead student trips



Trips from Thailand to Berlin, Pre-AP English 2 teacher David Volkmar hopes to teach students beyond the classroom. The trips will be organized through Educational First Tours, giving students the chance to learn about various sites in smaller groups.

Abby Wang, Staff Reporter

Traveling the world with friends is not an everyday opportunity, but in the summer of 2021 Pre-AP English 2 teacher David Volkmar is hoping to lead two student trips; one going to Thailand and the other across five countries in Europe.

The first trip is a 10 day service learning trip, where students will travel from southern Thailand to northern Thailand and work in an elephant sanctuary. The second trip is attending the Berlin Global Leadership Summit in Germany, while also routing through Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, as well as Slovakia.

“I started looking into ways to expand students’ world view and looking into student travel opportunities,” Volkmar said. “I’ve been going on EF Tours (Educational First Tours) for about six or seven years to bring students overseas. I see students come back for a greater appreciation for cultural differences and maybe a greater appreciation for what we have in this country and having had the time of their lives. Students will come home and unpack which might take an hour or so but they will be mentally unpacking for months after.”

Students will be traveling with a company called Educational First Tours, which provides an itinerary to see the local sites as well as allow students to explore their destination in small groups. Students who go on the first trip (to Thailand) will be able to claim volunteer hours; those who go to the Global Leadership Summit will have the chance to create sustainability solutions.

“I think it’s a good idea to give students the opportunity to travel because not only does it give them a chance for learning, but it also exposes them to other cultures,” sophomore Vanessa Jara said via text. “This opportunity is different in that it focuses on volunteering/service and leadership rather than other trips that strictly focus on a certain curriculum and don’t give a chance to learn something outside of what school traditionally teaches.”

Although the trip is open to all students, Volkmar initially introduced it to only the Pre-Ap English 2 classes due to limited spots; nonetheless, around 175 students on campus attended the enrollment informational meeting.

“I am excited that I get to go to five different countries and I have never been to Europe before,” sophomore Marco Figueroa said. “The Leadership Summit, which is in Berlin, will be a really good experience with all the speakers. It is also something you can put on your resume or your college applications so it is a really useful tool. I have heard so many stories from other people and from Mr.Volkmar himself about it being a really good experience. It is fun to be with people in your grade and to have people around you [experiencing the same thing] and that is what I am most looking forward to.”