English teacher takes students to Spain


Photo by Paul Roca 2016

Beery and her students will see beautiful cities like Barcelona on their upcoming trip.

Moriah Jones, Guest Writer

Whether it may be the knowledge gained from Spain’s culture or the breathtaking views, Kari Beery will be hosting her second field trip to Spain and looks forward to planning more in the future.

After travelling to Spain her very first time in college, Beery said, “I’ve always embraced the idea of travel as a way to learn outside of the classroom by having experiences. So, I decided to start a travel club at Mayfield High School.”

Taking the advantage of having the access to explore any destination she desires, Beery said, “We don’t have the limitation to being tied to a certain language maybe like a language teacher would. Therefore, we’re trying out a different culture. There are no GPA requirements and you don’t have to take Spanish in order to attend.”

In fact, Beery encourages those who don’t take Spanish to step out of their comfort zone. Beery said, “It’s a blessing and challenge for students to travel to a foreign country while taking a language completely different. This way, they’ll learn to survive.”

In such a limited amount of time, Beery and her students will be travelling all over Spain. Beery said, “We’ll fly into Barcelona and we’ll stay there for four days. Then, we’ll go to Madrid for four days as well and then take an excursion to Toledo which is about half an hour from Madrid. After that we’ll go to Seville.”

But that much travelling means lots of exercise. Beery said, “You’re walking at around 10-15 miles a day. The kids are so engaged in what’s around them, that they’re usually always on their best behavior; and by the time they get back, they’ll want to go to sleep.”

However, Beery had a hard time selecting her favorite part about Spain. Beery said, “Ever since I went to Spain in college, I immediately fell in love. Whether it may be their culture, architecture, history, or welcoming people, Spain happens to be that collision of a beautiful language and breathtaking views.”

Although there are many exciting experiences that occurs during the Spain trip, there has also been some obstacles along the way. Beery said, “There’s always something that doesn’t go right on the trip. For instance, one group forgot to get their luggage. When things go wrong, you’ve got to learn to just go with the flow and work your way around it.”

From past experiences, there has been many things that stuck out to Beery from different perspectives. Beery said, “From a teacher perspective, something that stuck out to me would be watching the amount of confidence the students gained before, during, and after the trip. As far as a personal journey for me, I’m constantly surprised and in wonder of the world around me and I realized to never take that for granted.”

Although the Spain trip is a journey that’s worth going on, it does have a cost. Beery said, “The price is about $4300 which includes your airfare, accommodations, all of your meals, tickets to get into any museums, tours, and anything else that you’ll be participating in. The only thing it doesn’t include is souvenirs and your lunch during the two hour free period that’s provided every day when exploring cities.”

However, many worry about not being able to attend the trip to Spain due to the cost. Beery said, “If you can’t afford it personally, you could get sponsors. And now that the holidays are coming up, I would advise to ask friends/family members for money instead of that sweater you really wanted and set any money aside every chance you get.”

Although Beery doesn’t have the freedom to choose the cost for the trip, she’s very grateful with the tour company that she decided to work with while hosting it. Beery said, “The tour company I chose is called EF which stands for Education First. Their whole premise is to take students on multiple types of excursions and since they do group packages, they’re able to keep the cost at a minimum by staying in really nice places, and having high quality food. In my opinion, it’s the top of the line tour guide and I’ve had many great experiences with it.”

Even though the Spain trip has done many wonders, parents often worry about their sons/daughters safety. Beery said, “EF is making sure all the students are safe and they’re not cutting any corners either. Therefore, I have the whole protection of taking students abroad without being nervous or making families nervous.”

Beery has many reasons as to why kids should attend the trip. But when choosing one, Beery said, “People need to see that there is a world behind these walls and other people of other cultures exist and when they do see that, I think that’s where our empathy and humanity is going to be restored. I truly believe that if we start having conversations with other people and start realizing that we’re more alike than we are different, will only be a step closer to changing the world.”