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SHS Goes International During School Break

bandMembers of SHS band at Blarney Castle and Gardens in Ireland.Scarsdale students travelled far and wide this February break for various school trips. There were foreign exchange trips to Heidelberg, Germany and Madrid, Spain. In addition, the school’s Wind Ensemble performed in Ireland, the Choir is in France, and the Orchestra is in Austria.

For the trip to Heidelberg, six Scarsdale students stayed with six German students of Elisabeth Von-Thadden Schule for 11 days. “The focus of the exchange is cultural, specifically around questions of identity, multiculturalism, and pluralism in our modern globalized world,” said SHS teacher and trip head Carlos Bedoya. The Scarsdale students had the opportunity to speak with Turkish Muslims in Manheim, Germany and to visit many sites, such as the Neckeralz concentration camp and the National Art Gallery. When the German students visit Scarsdale in March, they will visit Ellis Island, the 9/11 Museum, and other sites. The aim of these experiences is to help the students grasp the way the United States and Germany have dealt with certain issues and how minority groups have struggled in those respective places. The students will also spend plenty of time in SHS and Elisabeth Von-Thadden Schule to immerse themselves in their different high school cultures.

The Spanish exchange is between SHS and Colegios Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, and the goal is to experience life the way a teenager would in a different country. The first leg of the trip took place in October, when 12-20 Spanish students were paired up with Scarsdale students and stayed in their homes for a couple of weeks. The Spanish students attended SHS with their hosts and visited landmarks in New York City. From February 8th to the 21st, SHS students were in Spain with two faculty chaperones to complete the second leg of the trip. When they were not attending Colegios Ramón y Cajal during the day, the students were touring Madrid, Toledo, El Escorial, Segovia, and Cuenca and seeing various sites.

The school’s Wind Ensemble traveled from February 13th until the 22nd and spent three nights in Cork, three in Dublin, and two in Belfast, Ireland. They performed in each of these cities, for a total of three concerts. In between their rehearsals and performances, they visited sites such as the Rock of Cashel, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Giant’s Causeway, and various castles and attractions.

madridScarsdale Seniors in Madrid.

The Choir spent February 18 – 23 sightseeing and performing in France. Between informal singing and joint concerts with local schools in Paris and Mougins, the group saw the most famous sites in Paris and went on walking tours to immerse themselves in the culture. Sites include the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame, and many more.

The Orchestra completed an eight-day performance tour of Austria and Hungary from February 15th-22nd, where they are performed three concerts, two of which were joint concerts with different local schools. Since Austria is the place where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart spent most of his life and a location in which Ludwig van Beethoven spent plenty of time, this trip is a very educational one for the Scarsdale orchestra.

Hopefully, as the students trickle in the US again, they’ll shake off their jetlag and bring these cultural experiences to SHS with them.

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