Chances To Travel For Local Youth

Opinion / Sep. 7, 2017 9:06am EDT

Growing up in a working-class family in a small rural Connecticut town of 2,500, there was little opportunity for a teenager such as myself to travel.

Travel was something experienced by watching TV programs such as Wild Kingdom, National Geographic or Jaques Cousteau specials.

That was the way it was for me until I had an opportunity to travel to Mexico on a student trip facilitated by my high school basketball coach. That trip changed my life. Since then, I’ve tried to seek out any opportunity to experience a new land and new culture. I’ve been to Shizukuishi, Japan and Cuxhaven, Germany through the Randolph Exchange Programs; and just this summer with a Freeman Foundation Scholarship, a nationwide competitive grant for teachers, I was able to participate in a field study in China and Vietnam.

Students at Randolph Union Middle-High School have more opportunity to travel than I did when I was their age. There are a variety of travel programs specifically designed for them. Most of them are paid by student/parent fundraising projects or self-pay.

Recently our students have traveled to Quebec, Japan, Germany, Nicaragua, Guadeloupe Island, California, Colorado and New York City/State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime.

This year I will lead two international trips.

The 7-8th grade Randolph-Shizukuishi Exchange Trip will take place in June/July 2018. The cost is about $4,000 per student. Students fundraise for this trip. Be on the lookout for more information on Japan travel in January.

An 8-12th grade trip to South Africa through People to People, an international student travel program, will take place July 10-23, 2018. Cost is $6,490 all inclusive, paid out of pocket. For more information on fundraising projects, payment plans, and itinerary, etc. visit This trip may include other students from the state of Vermont and New York. An information meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at 6 p.m. in Room 155 at Randolph Union High School. Send an email to, if you’d like to find out more.

Deb Lary

The writer is the health educator at RUHS.

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