From Frisco to France, student travelers visit Europe


provided by David Volkmar

Flying from Frisco to France, students are traveling on an EF Tours trip sponsored by English teacher David Volkmar. The trip goes through continental Europe, stopping in cities such as Lucerne and Paris.

Maya Silberman, Managing Editor

With school ending, students are leaving campus for summer break. However, some students are going further than Frisco on an EF Tours trip across continental Europe, visiting Paris, Lucerne, Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna.

English teacher David Volkmar is leading the tour and has been working with EF Tours to lead trips for students for years.

“I’ve done trips through, I think 11 different European countries,” Volkmar said. “Most of my trips have included Italy. This one doesn’t, although this one goes further into Austria than most of my trips have and we spend a little bit more time in Paris than we typically do. We’re there for three days rather than two.”

The trip hits some of what Volkmar considers to be some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, including Lucerne in Switzerland.

“Lucerne, you know, I’ve been to probably 35 plus European cities and Luerne is solidly in my top five,” he said. “It’s absolutely beautiful. Just tucked there and then, you know, high up in the Alps. There is this amazing lake that we travel across. We go up to the summit, Mount Pilates, and you can see all the way to Italy from there.”

Senior Erika Pernis went on an EF Tours trip with Volkmar in 2022, and Lucerne was one of her favorite stops.

“My favorite part was probably hiking the Alps in Switzerland because that was really beautiful,” 2022 summer traveler, senior Erika Pernis said. “But overall just walking through the cities and going to different restaurants was super fun — I enjoyed mainly the free time we had.”

The trip also provides the unique opportunity to travel with close friends and classmates.

“I decided to go on the Europe trip because I have never been to Europe and I thought this was a perfect opportunity,” junior Sadie Johnson said. “I love being able to go with my classmates. I mostly looking forward to visiting all the museums and attractions, but I’m also excited to try food from all of the countries!”

To Volkmar, the opportunity to travel overseas can broaden students’ knowledge of the world.

“Students benefit from their perspectives being widened,” he said. “A lot of times younger folks have a hard time kind of seeing past their little corner of the world, and this opens that up for them and allows them to see that there are different cultures that are different enough to be interesting, but similar enough to be familiar.”

Student travelers leave the trip with physical souvenirs and memories to last a lifetime, according to Volkmar. 

“Students come home with a suitcase full of souvenirs and a head full of memories,” Volkmar said. “I’ve always said that, that when student travelers get home, they’ll be unpacked within a day or two, but they’ll be mentally unpacking the experience for months if not years afterward.”