School trip turns Mossman students into globe trotters


Karlie Brady


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Mossman State High School students and teachers under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Image: Supplied.

Students from Mossman State High School have returned home after a very different and much colder Christmas holidays than usual.

Twenty-seven students, between the ages of 14 and 17, along with four teachers went on a whirlwind European adventure jetting off from Cairns on 12 December.

First stop was Singapore with the travellers getting a chance to explore the city before heading off to London where they got a taste of the royal life at Buckingham Palace and a taste of magic at Harry Potter World.

Next stop was Paris visiting the must-do sites including the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, and the Louvre Museum.

From there they travelled to Germany where students got a lesson in war history visiting sites like Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin and a sombre visit to Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich.

Head of Department of the Junior School at Mossman State High School, Belinda Guthrie, said everyone really enjoyed Berlin.

“The Christmas markets were so beautiful, and the kids really enjoyed this city, so did the staff. We ate many bratwursts,” she said.

Christmas Day was spent in Prague and Ms Guthrie said this was the highlight of the trip.

“We took the kids ice skating on Christmas Night, which was pretty special.”

On Boxing Day, the globe trotters travelled to the final country of the trip, Italy, stopping in Florence, Pisa, and Venice. They visited sites including Michelangelo's David statue, Saint Marks Square, and the Doge's Palace, as well as taking a ride on Venice’s famous gondolas.

After 21 days away the group boarded a plane home in negative two-degree temperatures on New Year’s Eve after the trip of a lifetime.

This is the first time Mossman State High School has offered students this multi-country trip with the school previously only venturing on trips to Italy.

“The decision to move away from the Italy trip was basically because it takes so long to get over there, that you really need to see more of the world while you are there, if it is manageable,” Ms Guthrie said.

“The idea of having a cold Christmas was also a big deciding factor.”

Ms Guthrie added that a trip like this isn’t just about having fun, is also about teaching the students valuable life skills and immersing them in one big history lesson.

“Not only did we give the kids a chance to see some places that many of their parents have never seen, but we also gave them the opportunity to be somewhat independent and responsible for themselves.

“This was a real learning curve for some students, as we had seven hotel changes, which meant packing up and being accountable for their personal belongings the whole time. We got there in the end, but it took some time and organisation,” she said.

They may have only just returned but after the success of the trip, Mossman State High School has already got plans for another.

“I have already had parents ask me to put their child's name down for the next one,” Ms Guthrie said.

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