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Latin students have opportunity to attend 2019 Italy and Greece trip

By Emma Exon

Latin students have the opportunity to attend a 10-day trip through Greece and Italy during spring break of 2019 at a cost of around $4,000 for students. The trip is non-school sponsored and an informational meeting will be held on Feb. 21.

The Latin program at Batavia High School has the smallest population of students currently enrolled in the class of the three languages, but according to Latin teacher Lisa Walls, partaking in the class may be worth student’s time.

“If you are not very good at English grammar, Latin can fix that for you. If your vocabulary is not as extensive as you’d maybe like, Latin can help you with that. When you’re getting ready to take your SAT’s and ACT’s Latin students typically score higher than even your French and Spanish students…it’s really a family,”  Walls said.

In Latin class, students not only learn the language, but also the history behind it. Walls, often referred to as Magistra (which means “teacher” in Latin), has been teaching Latin since she graduated college. At BHS, there are five levels of Latin offered, all taught by Magistra.

Though Spanish and French are also offered, Walls said, “You’re learning a base language or a root language. If you wanted to pick up any of the other romance languages, learning Latin would help you pick up other romance languages…because you’re not just learning a language, you’re learning how language works.”

Additionally, lessons on topics such as Roman cities, the gods, and literature are also included. Students advancing onto Latin 3 have the opportunity to attend an overseas break that is scheduled to take place next spring break. The trip is offered exclusively to Latin students.

The trip will tour through Greece and Italy, visiting famous cities such as Athens, Rome, Delphi, Sorrento, and many small islands. Students will get to see famous museums and other well-known sites. Additionally, the trip will be very fast moving, so the group will get to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

One of Magistra’s favorite places is “The city of Pompeii…it’s one of the few places where you can actually touch a lot of different things and you can actually really explore what a roman city would have actually looked like. You will also get some very gorgeous views of Mt. Vesuvius in the background.”

Additionally, students will also get to visit the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Vatican. Along with sightseeing, hotels are also included in the trip fee.

“We stay at 4 and 5-star hotels that are specifically friendly to high school American tourists, so the company we travel through is ACIS and they have people that actually reside in the cities where we go,” Walls said. “When they book our hotels for us they make sure they understand it’s a group of high schoolers, so…they make sure we are well taken care of.”

The only requirements to participate are being a Latin student, level 3 or higher, and meeting the character standards set by Magistra. The trip is by invitation only.

When asked about the type of students she likes taking, Walls states, “I really only take students that I feel are mature enough to handle being away for 10 days from their parents, that can handle the fact that there are certain rules that are in place and you have to follow them for your safety,” Walls said. “I also only like taking kids that have had some background in the Italian and Greek history.”

The vacation will offer many educational opportunities as well as the chance to become immersed into Roman and Greek culture. Sign ups begin February 22.

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