This year, The Hill School has cancelled nearly all international trips to better assess their overall trip policy. In past years, Hill students have gone on school-affiliated spring break trips to destinations including France, Italy, and Iceland.
Amy Lehman, the experiential education coordinator, who oversees the logistics for off-campus trips, has been heavily involved in the school’s process of reevaluating the international excursions.
According to Lehman, the trip policy decisions encompass “cost, financial aid, safety/liability and connection to Hill’s educational mission.” Furthermore, she touched on what kind of changes we can expect to see:
“The most important goal is to create an international trip policy that aligns with our school’s curricular and programmatic goals,” Lehman said.
Christopher DeLucia, instructor of Chinese, has planned spring break trips to China in years passed. DeLucia believes the school international trips are a great opportunity for students to step out of their comfort zone and experience real life in addition to developing empathy.
“[Risk is] one of the primary concerns of international trips, but it’s also a prerequisite for the deepest learning,” DeLucia said. “The challenge of doing something you’ve never done before, speaking with someone when you can barely communicate, or eating something completely new and strange.”
“It was the most fun and learning I have ever had or done on a tour,” Max Pollak ‘19 said, recalling his experience on the France trip during the spring break of 2016. Pollak hopes the trip will not undergo any major changes and that they will come back next year.
Despite the school’s break from international trips, the Classics trip, which has been run at Hill for more than a decade, is still available for Humanities, Classics, and Art History students. This spring the Classics trip includes travels to Greece, mainland Italy, and Sicily.
“The classics trip is a program that has a very clear connection to our school mission,” Lehman said. “It has been long-planned and anticipated by the 6th formers in the Classics program so we decided to make an exception.”
Lehman said that Hill is expected to bring back international trips sometime next school year.