Student uses years of study to go abroad


Traveling, exploring and experiencing new things happen by accepting a challenge to enter a place unknown. Many students spend years learning a foreign language, and the opportunity to use all of the absorbed knowledge doesn’t come around very often.

Sophomore Monica Samm took the opportunity to go to Europe to experience the culture and the constant use of foreign languages. She has been studying French since seventh grade and got to use what she learned when she went to Paris, France this past summer.

“It was better than I imagined…,” Samm said.“It was really cool to see the places that I’ve been studying for years, and I would definitely go back to any of the countries.”

She signed up for the trip in eighth grade and had to wait until this past summer to go on the trip. The program takes students to Europe, specifically Spain, France and England. The group of about 20 students was lead by Mr. Dan Bailey, who is the French teacher and also an eighth grade English teacher at Southport Middle School.

Samm says the experience was probably more comfortable going with a group of people that you might not know but will eventually know than going alone.The trip gave her the chance to get to know cities, countries, and new people who she might not have known well or at all.

“We really got to know each other very well,” Samm said. “A lot of girls, even though we would be very tired, we would go to the hotel room and play cards with each other, so I really liked bonding with the other students.”

Samm says reading about a foreign country or imagining what it would be like is not the same or even as great as actually being there and being fully immersed in the cultures that inhabit the country.

“I was surprised by how much English everybody knew” Samm said. “We kind of went to the tourist spots.”

Samm says her least favorite thing about the trip was the plane ride because it was such a long ride. However, the most enjoyable part of the trip to her was getting to experience the blending of cultures that has been going on for such a long time, and getting thrown into uncomfortable situations and then being able to be comfortable with them.