Evanston Township High School will send students to Canada, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico and Guatemala in the 2019-20 academic year, allowing students a brief but steep immersion in a different culture.

In September, 40 students will attend the Stratford, Ont., Shakespeare festival.

The Japan Exchange, taking 20 students to Tokyo and the surrounding Chubu region will take place next February. In the summer of 2020, 15-20 students will travel to Heilbronn, Germany; 20 students will see San Juan, Puerto Rico, and environs; and 20 will be part of a Global Visionaries trip to Antigua, Guatemala.

International travel is aligned with three District goals, said Robert E. Brown III, Associate Principal for School Operations & Logistics, in a Feb. 11 memo: equitable and excellent education, student well-being and community engagement and partnerships.

To make the opportunities for international travel available to as many students as possible, the high school tries to minimize the cost of the trips, offers scholarships for which students may apply and endorses certain fundraising activities.

“ETHS and the trip sponsors and supervisors are committed to make sure that any student who qualifies and wants to go will be able to – through fund-raising, scholarships and donations. In the five years I’ve been doing this, I have never heard a student or family say a trip was inaccessible financially.”

Board member Pat Maunsell said, “I feel there’s a holistic approach to making sure everyone who wants to go can go.” She asked how information about the trips is disseminated.

Most trips are class-related, Mr. Brown said, so students learn about the trips from the teacher. Information about Travel Club trips is distributed to the club members. Spanish classes hear about the Global Visionaries trips at a special presentation in the auditorium, he said.

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...