Over 40 Becton students and staff travel across Europe – a cat’s eye view

Becton has officially entered the global market!

In a first-of-its-kind trip organized by language teachers Ms. Paola Bonanno and Ms. Debbie Sanchez, approximately forty junior and senior students enrolled in Becton’s language classes traveled to Europe. They visited three countries and ten cities with a guide who worked with local establishments to ensure the trip ran as smoothly as possible.

Several chaperones also accompanied Becton students on the trip, which began May 25-June 3 and provided the opportunity to explore many sites of historical and cultural significance, including Barcelona Cathedral in Spain, the Vatican, the Colosseum and Sistine Chapel in Italy, and the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, or “Gallery of the Florentine Academy” in France. Students stayed in double and triple rooms in hotels with classic architecture, beautiful views and great breakfasts.

Fun in Florence!

This week was the result of approximately two years of meticulous planning to ensure the best possible experience for all involved. As Alexander Vargas, one of the caregivers, put it: “From an educator’s perspective, there were goals we had to achieve for it to be considered a success.” He described these goals as the safety of all students and staff, doing justice to the spirits with whom the journey was planned, and “being pioneers who blazed the trail for other generations of Becton to travel in the future,” providing a memorable and enriching experience.

When asked why she initially came up with the idea for this trip, Ms. Bonanno revealed, “It’s been on my mind for a while because when students are learning a language, I think it’s very important that when you visit a country, you have something tangible from that language and cultural immersion.” In this regard, Mr. Vargas further states: “Traveling to new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures is an investment that will always pay off.”

Both Ms. Bonanno and Mr. Vargas expressed pleasure in seeing students experience firsthand these foreign places they had only heard or read about before. Mrs. Bonanno describes the sense of excitement she observed in the students’ reactions, noting, “There’s nothing we can teach them in class that would give them that sense of wonder.” This feeling applies not only to the students who took part in the training, but also to the team of caregivers who worked to keep them safe and well. This trip broadened everyone’s horizons!

As another caregiver, Ms. Angela Calasso, explains: “During this trip, my appreciation for art, architecture, history, culture and language increased tenfold. As a science teacher, I don’t explore these topics very often, so I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

An unforgettable dinner at the famous Chez Moi in Nice!

The trip was a huge success thanks to the combined efforts of administrators, supervisors and teachers, as well as the continued decency and respect of the students who came together to create a benchmark that will not only have a direct impact on the people involved, but will lay the groundwork Becton abroad. This means that it is almost certain that this experience and others like it will be repeated in the future.

As Mr. Vargas put it, “By connecting with people personally, academically and professionally, our students will continue to grow and benefit from this journey for the rest of their lives.”