International Intersession Trips and New Cultures


Thana Schrock, Staff Writer

One of the things that make Sandy Spring Friends School special is that we have Intersession. Intersession is an event that occurs prior to spring break and it is a time you get to spend with classmates and to make new friends. It is a good way to experience new cultures, learn new traditions first hand, and travel to the place you’ve studied in a foreign language class. Student are able to get out of their comfort zones and friend groups to get a special learning experience with a secluded group that will connect over a week or the allotted time of the certain intersession.

Christina Song (‘12) is a 7 day boarding student on dorm and chose Head Start as her intersession last year. Headstart is a service intersession and is a good choice of intersession if you like kids. When looking at intersession trips, international trips caught Christina’s eye because they were opportunities to go to different countries with her friends and discover new culture and traditions. First, however, she completed a service intersession. “Service Intersessions are meant as being able to help a community in various ways. There are a variety of opportunities such as teaching kids if you like children or  building a home instead of picking up trash.” Christina says the best thing about service Intersession trips is you are giving a hand to a community that needs help. Christina’s most enjoyable time on Intersession was working with the children and getting to know her group more deeply. This year, she is traveling to Italy and looks forward to seeing new aspects of the culture and touristing around Italy with her friends.

Christina says “Intersession helps broaden our perspectives by applying the things we learned in real life.” Although there is a high demand for particular Intersessions such as Italy and Spain, that does mean a lot of kids can bond over a shared interest and learn together about what they’ve been studying in school. Although Christina has not yet been on an international trip intersession, based on what she knows and what other students have come back and said, she says these Intersessions open your eyes to new culture. She says the experience is really helpful and that you are “In the culture, not watching a video or lecture about it and you get to learn first hand from people on the street, get to have authentic food, and learn new culture in plenty of ways. When you come back it’s easier to make connections when you’re learning and reading about it, because you just had an experience in that culture.” Christina is excited to be introduced to the art and culture of Italy and to make new Italian friends. She can’t wait to experience their language and culture first hand.