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STEM+M students take an annual trip abroad

Tri-State STEM+M Early College High students visit the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, as part of the school’s trip abroad this summer. (photo sent)

SOUTH POINT — Navigating through changing regulations in multiple countries during a pandemic has been a time-consuming process for planners of Tri-State STEM+M Early College High School’s annual overseas trip.

This year, 15 people, including students and adults, were able to travel to parts of England, France and Italy for a 10-day tour of the included countries.

Tri-State STEM+M Early College High students visit the Colosseum in Rome, Italy as part of the school’s trip abroad this summer. (photo sent)

The year was very different from previous overseas travel, due to ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions. It was particularly tedious with different regulations depending on the country.

Participants left understanding that every aspect of the trip could change until the day of their departure, including changes abroad.

“With all the uncertainty in our current world, we were constantly worried that our trip would be postponed or canceled,” said Shelby Davidson, director of STEM+M, who was involved in all of the planning. “There were several additional planning requirements that our travel agency put in place. We had to make sure that each traveler followed the requirements perfectly in order to be able to leave. Luckily, our students and parents were more than willing to meet all the requirements necessary to make our trip go smoothly.

Tri-State STEM+M Early College High students visit the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City as part of the school’s trip abroad this summer. (photo sent)

Annie Piaskowski, who is entering her third year at STEM+M, was also worried the trip would be canceled early, but was relieved the school and tour group were able to continue.

The original tour included an overnight train from Paris to Milan. However, the train was suspended due to the pandemic and the mode of transport was changed to an additional flight. The students became somewhat accustomed to the constantly changing planes and rode with them without complaining.

Important popular destinations visited included the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France; the Colosseum, Rome, Italy; the Sistine Chapel, in Vatican City – and the one not on the itinerary was the Pope.

Noah Woods, a 2022 Tri-State STEM+M graduate, says his favorite part of the trip was London, England, with the mix of old and modern building styles. It was similar to another 2022 graduate, Drew Fryer, who was intrigued by the different architecture of all destinations.

Tri-State STEM+M Early College High students visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France as part of the school’s trip abroad this summer. (photo sent)

The students were able to take part in many local activities and get a glimpse of different ways of life than they are used to here in our country. Some of them included food, navigating through different currencies, language, history and culture.

“This trip was truly a once in a lifetime trip! Other than me, I can go back in 2023 with our next team of students,” Davidson said. “Even our new students enrolling this fall will have the opportunity to attend if they wish. London, Paris, Florence, and Rome—Tri-State STEM+M will be back in 2023. If you’re interested in opportunities like this for your students’ high school careers, come take a tour and learn more about our school !

A school visit can be scheduled anytime at 740-377-4433.

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