Eudora Eudora High School foreign language students will head to Europe in March on a scaled-down version of the trip they had hoped to make.
Kevin Stoda, EHS foreign language teacher and Foreign Language Club sponsor, tried last fall to schedule a spring tour of Eastern, Central and Western Europe to see firsthand the results of political changes that have occurred in recent months.
"We weren't able to pull off the trip we originally planned," he said. About 40 people were needed to make the trip a reality, but not enough signed up.
However, some EHS students will get a chance to practice their German and discover new cultures with a visit to Germany, Switzerland and Austria, leaving March 21 for a nine-day tour.
The group will join students from several Oklahoma high schools for the trip, which was organized through an educational tours association.
SO FAR, six Eudora High students and three adults have signed up for the trip. "I'd be happy to have more students," Stoda said. Anyone interested in joining the tour group should let him know within the next week, he said.
The cost per person is about $1,000, which includes everything except evening meals and side trips.
Although the tour doesn't include any excursions to areas once under Communist rule, Stoda said he's working on a way for students to visit Berlin, the once-divided city that was long a symbol of the Cold War.
"I have arranged a real good deal if I have a group large enough," he said. "We could stay in Berlin in a kind of youth hostel for about $20 a night for a room and three meals a day. I hope we'll be able to do it with only a handful of people."
WHILE SOME students seem hesitant about extending the trip and venturing to another foreign city, Stoda said others are excited at the prospect of sticking around Europe for the trip to Berlin.
"I'm a big believer in what even a short contact with people in a foreign country can provide educationally," he said.
In addition to the experience itself, Stoda hopes the trip will help students develop an international perspective. An exposure to the European way of life will give students information to use in evaluating their own culture, he said.
"I hope they learn to reflect and become more analytical," he said. "`Learning through experience' is my key phrase when I talk about this."
The high school foreign language department tries to schedule a trip to a foreign country each year. Students were forced to cancel travel in Europe last year because of the threat of terrorism during the Persian Gulf War, Stoda said.