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Students ditch the halls for the streets of Paris and London

Seniors and juniors in upper level English classes had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit cities abroad over spring break
Photo by: Melissa Joynson
Students pose in front of the Tower Bridge in London.

Wheels squealed on the ground excitement filled the air as cold air rushed around students after they walked off their plane and into Charles de Gaulle airport in France.

Students are ready to take off from Richmond for their worldly trip. (Photo by: Melissa Joynson)

English Teachers, Melissa Joynson and Susan Williamson along with librarian Heather Murfee, sponsored the ACIS trip to Paris and London. “I was brainstorming different teaching ideas and thought it would be so cool if we could actually go to these places and see everything,” Joynson said. “I talked to a teacher and she gave me the contact information for ACIS. I asked Dr. Abel if the trip was a possibility and he gave me permission.” 

After the grueling eight hour flight, students landed in Paris and had free time to shop and explore. “The first day in Paris was the best,” Cameron Coats, 11, said. “I enjoyed getting to look around all the shops and see Notre Dame. I also really enjoyed walking and taking the metro as a form of transportation. It was more fun than driving everywhere.”

The next day, students had a bus tour around Paris and went to the Louvre. “My favorite thing was going to the Louvre and having the opportunity to see the works of art I’ve loved for years in person,” Jupiter Turner, 12, said.

To end the night, students and teachers went to the Eiffel Tower. “My favorite part of the trip, with the group, was the night we went to see the Eiffel Tower light up,” Kat Smith, 12, said. “It was such a long day of rushing around and it was great to end the day with a bang”

The Eiffel Tower lit up at night. (Photo by: Melissa Joynson)

To round out the last day in Paris, students and chaperones went to Montemarte, a village where at the top of the hill lay a church, Sacré-Coeur. “We got to see parts of Montemarte that were quaint and quintessential, of what I thought Paris would be,” Murfee, said. After wondering around the town, students had a painting tour. An artist led the students in painting by using styles such as pointillism. “My favorite part of the trip was the water color painting,” Caylee Gooss, 11, said. “It was really fun.”

Sacré-Coeur in Montemarte. (Photo by: Melissa Joynson)

After three sightseeing days in Paris, everyone boarded onto the two hour trip on the EuroStar. The EuroStar is a train that connects Paris and London. The train goes under the English Channel to get to the different countries. Once in London, students and chaperones had a tour of the English Museum. After walking around the museum, a bus took off to sightsee Big Ben, Westminster, and Buckingham Palace. “My favorite part of London was getting to see Big Ben,” Sydney Davis, 11, said.

Starting off the fifth day bright and early, everyone  ——- a three hour walking tour. Historical churches, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and St. Bartholomew’s Church, were on the tour. After three hours, the tour ended where the Tower Bridge meets the Tower of London. Some of the travelers bought tickets to explore the Tower of London. “The tower of London was nothing like I expected,” Reagan McKenna, 11, said. “All the architecture was beautiful and I loved how they had real pieces from the interior set up as if it was current day.”

Students in West Minister. (Photo by: Melissa Joynson)

To start the last day of the trip, a workshop at the Globe Theater was scheduled. The Globe Theater is a reconstruction of the original, where Shakespeare produced his plays. Students first saw the newly constructed theater and then went on practice their skills of acting. “My favorite part was the globe theater,” Joynson said. “I thought the workshop was super fun. It was super cool getting to see it and getting to experience what it would have been like if we lived in Shakespeare’s time and gone to a show there. It was fun watching the students practice their workshop activity.”

Students enjoy High Tea in London. (Photo by: Melissa Joynson)

The group, then, had high tea and then went their separate ways. Some students went off to explore Borough Market while others went to The Chelsea Football Stadium. “We met with one of the tour members on staff at the stadium,” Ella Brinser, 12, said. “He walked us around the field and told us how the different seats are incorporated in different price ranges for tickets. We then toured the locker rooms, went on the cameras that are the big screen and walked around the gift shop.”

To close out the last night abroad, some students went to see a musical on the West End. The West End in London a world famous theater district full of musicals and plays. McKenna saw Phantom of the Opera. “It was a once in a lifetime experience,” McKenna said. “The effects, actors, vocals, and everything was incredible. You could tell how well rehearsed it was and how much the actors prepared. The story itself is amazing and how it all came together was the best part”. The trip is an experience that will live on through memories of all those who went on it. “I am still on cloud nine,” Murfee said. “I don’t know if I will ever get off cloud nine. It was fabulous.”


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About the Contributor
Meghan Davis
Meghan Davis, News Writer
Class of 2025 Meghan Davis has been on staff for two years. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling with her family and friends, reading, and going to theme parks.

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