The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

Navigating the World

Unpacking the stress of traveling abroad with students
Travelers+on+the+Spanish+trip+take+a+selfie+on+one+of+their+expeditions+in+Costa+Rica.
Maya Graupe
Travelers on the Spanish trip take a selfie on one of their expeditions in Costa Rica.

As the sun dipped low over the Costa Rican landscape, a group of eager students, accompanied by their adventurous teachers, stepped out of the airplane onto the ramp, ready to embark on a transformative journey through the heart of Latin America for their immersive Spanish class expedition. It has been many years since a trip like this with a Homestead Spanish class.
Khmelevsky and Rossman are nervous but excited to take 22 students through Costa Rican jungles, volcanoes and coasts while juggling the stress of keeping them all safe and healthy for a week during spring break.
While the Spanish students were in Costa Rica, the Homestead Orchestra traveled to Germany for a week-long adventure to play at two concerts and tour several cities, castles and towns.
Maria Pramenko, senior, said, “It was super fun to get to know people in my class better and make friends with so many new people.”
But, does the stress of planning and attending these types of trips out of the country outweigh the positives?
Being a teacher and organizing trips with students can be incredibly stressful due to the multitude of responsibilities involved. Not only do teachers have to plan and coordinate every aspect of the trip from transportation and accommodation to activities and meals, but they also must ensure the safety and well-being of all students throughout the journey. There’s constant pressure to anticipate and address any potential issues or emergencies that may arise, while also managing students’ diverse needs and behaviors in an unfamiliar environment.
All of these factors can contribute to high-stress levels for teachers, but it also makes the rewarding nature of facilitating memorable experiences outside the classroom worth it.
Lara Khmelevsky, Spanish teacher, shared, “Honestly, I was a bit nervous about taking students abroad. I tried to be as organized as possible. It was a huge help that I had great chaperones I could depend on and a really wonderful group of students.”
Sarah Rossman, Spanish teacher, added, “Stress is always a part of traveling, but traveling internationally creates additional stress. Being responsible for the well-being and safety of our students was a constant concern. Fortunately, we had a very trustworthy guide from Costa Rica and an experienced driver the entire week. Even when we ran into some difficulties, we all persevered and managed to handle the situation. Sometimes we can learn more about our strengths when we face challenges. Everyone on the trip displayed maturity and grew from this week-long adventure. Students bonded with each other and created memories of a lifetime!”
Steven O’Brien, the government teacher, talked about his past experiences with traveling to Europe. O’Brien said, “We visited the countries of England, France, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Austria and Germany. The biggest challenge would be keeping the students organized so they know when and where to be at all times. Safety was always a concern. Ee had to keep the group together as much as possible.”
Despite the stress and concerns a trip like this requires, O’Brien added, “I really enjoyed traveling with the students. It would be fantastic if there were students who were genuinely interested in traveling and learning, so we could have this opportunity more often. Getting to experience other countries and cultures is so amazing. With that being said, traveling with a large group is not for everyone.”

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About the Contributors
Melina Angeli
Melina Angeli, Staffer
Melina Angeli is a senior at Homestead High School. She is continuing her education at The University of Minnesota Twin-Cities and studying Marketing. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, going outdoors, and crafting. She used to play volleyball and continues to enjoy playing. Melina has a passion for social media and beauty marketing.
Maya Graupe
Maya Graupe, Staffer
Maya Graupe is a senior at Homestead High School. She is an active member of the Drama Club and loves being involved in plays. When not at school, she loves reading, traveling and cooking. She plans on studying computer engineering and/or computer science in college, although she is not decided where. She is interested in photography and wants to develop her skills further.

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