Learning the Classics Overseas

Waiting in Amsterdam

Written by CPLS Junior Emma Nasseri

Not very many high schoolers get the opportunity to travel the world with their classmates and teachers, but at Cair Paravel, learning goes beyond the classroom. Over spring break, a group of twenty students boarded a plane to Athens to see for themselves a classical world that they have spent their years at Cair Paravel learning about.

            The Greece trip was an opportunity for students who are studying history, philosophy, and the Bible to walk in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Socrates, and the Apostle Paul. The trip was chaperoned by history, classics, and art teachers who led the students in creative interactions, like sketching and journaling, with the cities and sites.

            The students spent the months before the trip participating in classes about Greek culture, history, and travel safety. The essays and quizzes ensured that they were well-informed travelers before boarding the plane. Each student was assigned two to three sites to research and give on-site presentations about.

However, the well-prepared travelers learned that the best experiences are sometimes spontaneous. On the way to Greece, the group’s flight from Amsterdam to Athens was cancelled, but the detour gave them the opportunity to explore Amsterdam, eat Belgian waffles in Belgium, and see the springtime in the Netherlands pass by on the outside of a train’s windows.

            Upon arriving in Athens, the groups spent three days seeing the sights of the city, from the vibrant and creative street art to the masterfully sculpted figures of the Parthenon frieze. For the next three days, they cruised along the Mediterranean, visiting sites like the ancient Palace of Knossos and the Revelation cave on Patmos. While sailing, the group took Greek language lessons and dominated in the ship’s Greek Mythology Trivia contest.

            The world travelers returned home with a deeper understanding of both the modern and classical world. As the group recovers from their jetlag, they are finishing their last assignment of filling their scrapbooks, sketchbooks, and journals with pieces of the trip that they can keep forever.