The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

The online news for the students and staff at Somerset Berkley Regional High School

The Breeze

As a student run newspaper the Breeze expects readers to contact our editorial staff using the comment box below every story for all questions or concerns.
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Iberian Voyage: Interviews & Final Thoughts


Previous Parts: Madrid, Córdoba + Sevilla, Évora + Lisboa +Sintra

In order to collect different views about this trip, we have decided to interview teachers and students who also went on this trip to provide us with their opinion about this experience. We interviewed chaperones which include the  World Language Content Coordinator, Mr Gleason, and an English teacher who is a frequent traveler, Ms. Burgmyer. In addition, a student traveler, Alana Sousa, was interviewed to provide an additional perspective on this opportunity. Below are the results from the interviews.


Mr. Gleason: (Chaperone)

When interviewing Mr. Gleason, he believed that this trip was a 10/10 experience as there was a “great group of chaperones” who “went above and beyond, making sure that everyone was safe”. In addition, there was a “great group of students”, and he “look[s] forward to their presentations.” Mr Gleason also mentioned that he wants to experience all of it again, “…bringing the students to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries was great because those are the two languages that we cover over here. So it’ll be great to have students travel to the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries again.”

During this trip, Mr. Gleason was able to try “pescaditos fritos” because he “never had them in Spain before.” He had also “never been to Córdoba,” and he “heard it was a beautiful city” and believes that “it definitely was”. Prior to this trip, he had been to all the places that we visited except for Córdoba which this trip allowed him the opportunity to go there, “so that’s nice”. Out of all the cathedrals, museums, and sites that we saw in Spain and Portugal, the Plaza de España caught his eye and is “probably [his] favorite spot in Spain” which he hasn’t “been there in like 20 years.”Overall, Mr. Gleason enjoyed the entirety of this trip as it allowed him an opportunity to bring students to Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, try new things, and visit Córdoba!


Ms. Burgmyer: (Chaperone)

Ms. Burgmyer rated this trip a “9/10” since she really “loved working with all the students and loved everything we saw” but as an adult, she “felt a little bit of stress that [she] needed to keep everyone safe and [make sure] that nothing happens to anyone”. She said that it “stops it from being the most perfect experience” and that although it was “a stress [she] signed up for”, she still felt that stress.

During this trip, the Cathedral of Seville caught Ms. Burgmyer’s eye as it was “spectacular.” She “loved everything about it; to see it illuminated at night and to go up it during the day.” She really loved Seville!

As a frequent traveler, Ms. Burgmyer also offered pieces of advice for future travelers: “A big silly piece of advice is that when you arrive in Europe, don’t take a nap. You have to power through until you get to 6 or 7 o’clock and then when you go to your hotel, go have dinner or go to bed. But then the other thing I would say is that you really have to keep all your things safe, like your passport; you can’t ever be silly about that.” She also said “don’t be afraid to try something new” and that “I’m sure there were a lot of kids on this trip that thought to themselves that ‘I don’t ever want to go to an art museum’ but I loved our art tour in Madrid…So I think you gotta let yourself have new opportunities to not be afraid or not think that ‘I won’t like it’ because you might love it!”


Alana Sousa: (Student)

Alana said that this trip was a “9/10” and an “overall great experience”. She loved “being able to make new relationships with people, having inside jokes, being able to laugh with people who [she] wouldn’t expect to connect with.” In addition, she enjoyed “getting closer with teachers outside of school and learning about how fun they are outside of school.” Alana had really enjoyed this experience and felt that her favorite part was “…the entire experience, the food, the connections, [and] the culture” which she said that “the overall experience is something that [she] will cherish for the rest of [her] life.”

During this trip, the only thing that Alana disliked was having “the same breakfasts that were at every hotel.” The hotel breakfasts all had breakfast items like eggs, fruits, pastries, juice, yogurt, etc, which wasn’t new to us but was still enjoyable.

When asked whether she tried anything new, Alana said that she wasn’t a picky eater and that “anytime there was something for [her] to try, [she] didn’t hesitate.” Although she is familiar with the food in Portugal due to her Portuguese heritage, the food in Spain was “all new to [her]”. During the sightseeing part of this trip, the Giralda (a 36 floor tall tower in Sevilla) really caught Alana’s eye due to “the spectacular view, 360 of the city, being so tall, and overlooking the people below”. She really enjoyed it and “could have stayed up there all day and night, just admiring everything in sight.”

Something that was different from what Alana expected was that “[she] expected it to be a little more fast paced.” However, contrary to her expectations, “there were a decent amount of breaks that were set, which were appreciated by all.” Overall, she preferred Portugal more than Spain due to “the food, the culture, the music, the citizens, the sports, and the views” which she said was a “breathtaking, unforgettable, and an amazing experience.” Alana wishes to experience “the world, the people, the food, the clothing, and the overall experience” again. Although she believes that “coming back home after the trip was nice and all to be in [her] own bed”, but she really misses “the place that changed [her] life and made [her] appreciate the world we live in more.”

In addition, Alana would “really recommend this trip and any other trip like this to any other student or faculty in the school.” This trip has been “unimaginable” and “one of the best decisions that [she has] made in [her] whole life”. To future travelers, her piece of advice is: “Always be prepared. Understand the environment that you are traveling to. Have the time of your life!”


Final Thoughts

Overall, I had really enjoyed this trip and would encourage students and teachers to explore the cultures and world beyond our daily lives. Although traveling may be scary in the beginning, it is an unforgettable experience that will expand the horizons of an individual and allow them to further explore the cultures that help make up our society!


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