UACHS: Far From Home

Kaiya Daughety

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to leave the country as a high school student, nor is it common to do so at a discounted price. UACHS does just that, providing all-inclusive yearly trips around the world for students to indulge in.
“Since I was little I’ve dreamt of traveling around the world to see all the different and beautiful places around the globe”, said Chrystiana Chandler, a junior at UACHS.
Rita Bassil, biology teacher at UACHS, assists students in achieving their dreams of traveling through the Education First tour program. This opportunity gives students the chance to tour a variety of different countries within a week or so. Bassil schedules it over summer break and has been traveling alongside students out of the country for years. Many feel that traveling outside of the country is impossible due to the cost.
“I wish I could go on these once in a lifetime trips but at the same time I don’t have a job, therefore I can’t pay that monthly price, ” said Chandler.
Bassil’s goal is to allow students in the area to explore outside of their homes for what she believes is a very affordable price.
“Students rarely leave Jersey City so it’s a good learning experience for them and it’s cheap,” said Bassil.
Depending on when students register they pay a minimum of $200 dollars a month with the total price being between $2,400 and $3,800 depending on the trip.
These trips are not at all offered last minute, Bassil lets students start paying 18 months in advance to ensure they have an affordable monthly payment. Students do not travel alone during these trips, they will travel with Bassil and several chaperones that volunteer at the same affordable price.
The trips includes airfare, on tour transportation, hotels, regional meals, full time tour director, 24 hour emergency assistance, guided tours and activities, travel gear, traveler resources, and 3 college credits.
This years EF tour offering was to Panama. On this trip, students would have learned about agriculture, ecology, and sociology. Unfortunately due to a lack of student interest, this year’s trip had to be cancelled. The tours rely heavily on student involvement and if by the midway point there are not enough students enrolled, the school must cancel. However, the EF Tour for 2021 to the Mediterranean is in full swing because eight people have already signed up to go.
This once in a lifetime opportunity gives students a chance to explore another part of the world while earning college credits. So if you have the money and the time, get out of your comfort zone and fly across the world on an EF Tour.

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