International Travel

BFA students take a picture in front of Machu Pichu

BFA students take a picture in front of Machu Pichu

Ambyr Wagner, Mercury Writer

Where do you live?

Think long and hard about it.

What is there to do in your neighborhood or house that you haven’t done already?

Not much, right?

Now take a moment and imagine a different surrounding; snow, sand, a forest, a temple.

Imagine the terrain and smells; rough terrain that smells of fresh rain and pine, a slippery landscape with cold and crisp air, a flat area with the smell of the sea.

Now, wouldn’t it be so much better to be able to go to those different places?

It is indeed boring, just sitting in a place where there is nothing to do and there is nowhere to go. It is important to know that every student has this opportunity.

BFA holds a once or twice a year to go on a trip to a foreign country.

Last year many of the students within BFA had gone to Peru, visiting many places like the capital Lima, and the world wonder Machu Picchu.

This year, there is a plan to go on a trip to Italy, where students will have the opportunity to travel around a good portion of the country.

These trips can be beneficial to students, in more than just an academic way.

“That month in Ecuador did more for my character, education, and sense of identity than any other experience in my early life,” Amanda Machado in wrote an article “Traveling Teaches Students in a Way Schools Can’t” on

Within the article, Machado talks about her new learning about herself, her culture – since she is of Ecuadorian heritage – and the country she was visiting.

“Students may discover something about themselves and their potential while traveling abroad,” Foreign language teacher and trip coordinator James Thurber said.

Not knowing who you are as a person can be extremely difficult. Despite the difficulties, traveling abroad may help a student find what they like about themselves, broaden or create new beliefs, and help open doorways to where a person wants to go and what they want to be.

Now, a person finding themselves is very important, but the academics also come in handy for the future.

Traveling also helps students in their academic work.

“Definitely,” Foreign language teacher and trip coordinator Olga Saldarriaga said when she was questioned on whether or not trips truly did help students academically.

“They help students academically because usually, all these educational companies have academic goals; it is not just a business to take a lot of students on a trip,” Saldarriaga said.

The educational companies, such as EF Educational Tours, often set up places to go. These places typically include landmarks, museums, and even supermarkets where a student can learn to interact with the locals on a different level.

“These students often return with a confidence in their language abilities and a motivation to continue with their studies,” Thurber said, agreeing with Saldarriaga in her claims.

“Life skills learned while studying, volunteering, or interning abroad transfer well to the workplace,” posted in their article “Why Your Teen High School Student Should Go Abroad”.

The statement provided above stakes a definite claim that these experiences from these high school trips can help in both the workplace, as well as with other ‘real-life’ skills and knowledge.

“While the language trips are designed with language students in mind, they are usually open to all BFA students,” Thurber said, making it clear that any student who wishes to go on a trip is welcome. A student does not need to be fluent in a language or take a language class.

Now take a moment and reimagine the place that you’d love to visit most – Japan, Argentina, Russia, Spain.

Think about what it would feel like; the ground beneath your feet, the grass rubbing against your legs, the cold crisp air.

Imagine the sounds; the sound of children laughing in mid afternoon, the crunching of snow, the falling of rain.

Imagine the possible experiences you could have, wherever it is you want to be.

VT Students jump for joy in Peru
VT Students jump for joy in Peru

Now know that it could all be real with BFA’s abroad trips.