Blumberg Leads Austria Trip

Jack Moeller, Sports Editor

German teacher David Blumberg will chaperone a 3 week trip to Austria and Italy with 11 students this summer. Students will stay 2 weeks with Austrian families in Vienna, and then travel around Austria and Italy for the final week. The trip lasts from June 19 to July 12.

The trip costs $2000 per student.

According to Blumberg, the trip offers students to first-hand experience of European culture. “It is a great opportunity for the kids to improve their language skills by spending a few weeks in German-speaking countries. It is also a lot about learning the culture, and also getting experience that this is a living language, and that is spoken by people outside of the classroom,” he said.

“We are going to be spending 2 weeks in Vienna, the capital of Austria. All of the students will be spending 2 weeks with Austrian families,” Blumberg said.

The trip will also be an opportunity for students to improve German language speaking and comprehension skills.

That is the main reason sophomore Hayden Wells has elected to participate. “I wanted to improve my fluency of learning German,” he said.

Sophomore Kendall Schmidt hopes to learn more about the German culture. “I thought that I would get a better opportunity to speak the [German] language, and learn about the culture more,” she said.

“By getting outside of their own country, students are getting a different perspective on many things, including their own culture,” Blumberg added.

Sophomore Katy Zarembinski is looking forward to the 2 week stay in Vienna because of the experience staying with host families will offer. “I am excited to see all of the really cool places that we are going to go. I am excited to meet my host family and connect with them, and have a better understanding of the German language and future,” he said.

Schmidt agreed, “I am excited to get to meet my host family and learn about the culture. I am also excited to see all of the tourist destinations.”

Blumberg said that the families are screened by an organization called Edu-Culture International (ECI). “They organize all of the families that the students stay with. They interview the families, visit their homes, and they screen the families so that it would be appropriate to have a student stay with them. It is important that the families have children that are about the same age as the student that might be visiting,” he said.

Blumberg also said that students submit letters explaining their interests in order to help connect them with appropriate hosts. “The students will write a letter to try to find a match with the families that they might be staying with,” he said.

According to Blumberg, the final week of the trip will take students on tours around Austria, and even into Italy. “At the end of the 2 weeks, we will travel to Hallstatt, a beautiful city in Austria. After that, we will head to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. After the stay in Salzburg, we will travel to Innsbruck, which is in the Austrian Alps. We will cross over the border and into a German-speaking part of Italy, called Southern Tyrol. We will fly back home from Venice,” he said.

Zarembinski said that she is excited to visit Italy. “I am really looking forward to Venice, because I have heard that Italy is such a cool place,” he said.

Blumberg said, “I have had some really good groups [of students]. It is always nice to see my students in a different context; to see them outside of the classroom, and in day-to-day life. It is really grab to see the students experience something that they have never experienced before,” he said.