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The Christian theologian St. Augustine once said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” The idea that travel broadens one’s mind isn’t a revolutionary concept; it is a cornerstone of a Groton education.This summer, Groton is offering three Global Education Opportunities (GEOs). So, pack your bags, and prepare for a cultural excursion of a lifetime.  

 

Peru

For some students, this summer presents the opportunity to experience Peru, a country rich in culture. This program offers students the chance to spend several weeks in the heartland of the Inca civilization. Students’ Spanish skills will improve dramatically, as they will be doing a homestay in the town of Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is a town of almost 10,000. It is rich in Incan culture and tradition, including ruins in the city that contain an ancient fortress. Students will spend time with their respective local families learning about the local customs and traditions. Aidan Reilly ’18 says of his experience in Peru that when he “got there he was open to trying new things, and his host family embraced them in their culture.” The family he stayed with were guinea pig farmers, which worried Aidan a bit in terms of their cooking, but it “tasted like chicken”.  There will also be a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu and a three-day stay in the historic capital of Peru, Lima. Clearly, it will be an enjoyable trip for those lucky enough to be making the journey to “the land of the Incas”.

 

China

With a population of 1.37 billion and a total land mass almost as large as the US, China is an incredibly diverse and beautiful country. This summer, Mrs. Jin, Ms. Bai, and Mr. Fry will be leading a trip to China for twenty-two days. They will visit many of the traditional sites, with some creative additions. No trip to China would be complete without a visit to the Great Wall, and Groton students will have the privilege of seeing it with  one of the world’s undisputed experts, William Lindesay.  Lindesay has been featured on BBC, in The New York Times, and on the National Geographic Channel, as in 1987 he became the first foreigner to walk the Ming Great Wall from end to end. After spending time at this landmark the students will travel to Inner Mongolia. Differing from Beijing and Shanghai, students will learn about Mongolian culture and their famous cuisine. The trip will conclude in Beijing, where the students will visit traditional tourist hotspots such as Tiananmen Square and the Bauhaus Arts District.  The trip will conclude with a twenty course Chinese feast. Mr. Fry says that he is “so excited about seeing mainland China for the very first time. ..[w]e are clearly going to be able to see and experience things that most tourists to China never get to see. “

 

Uganda

Led by faculty members David Prockop and Eileen Giles, the Uganda trip will take Groton students into the heart of East Africa. The region contains about 12,000 people, and its climate can be compared to upstate New York. Groton School has a close partnership with Bishops High School in Rukungiri, Uganda. Groton students will be paired with a Bishop’s student of the same age and will live with them and their family for five days. Groton kids will help paint the school, spend time with their host families, and can participate in choral and dance programs with Bishop’s students. Undoubtedly one the best trips GEO offers, the students will enjoy twenty-one days in one of the most beautiful regions in the world.  
Groton has many opportunities for students to step out of their comfort zone and have entirely new experiences. This summer, students will be able to interact with people completely different from them, but will also be able to see their similarities. Hopefully they will come back to Groton with broadened horizons and sharpened viewpoints.

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