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Experiential Learning Opportunities Over March Break

St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) students eager for adventure this March Break, took their studies out of the classroom and into three different experiential learning trips that spanned three continents.

During the two-week break from regular classes, students were able to experience either a business studies-focused trip to Portugal, Spain, and Morocco, a history-focused trip to Italy and Greece, or a music tour to Florida and the Bahamas.

Learn more about what our students experienced and check out a photo gallery of their trips.

Business Studies – Portugal, Spain, and Morocco

SMCS March Break Trips - business trip

The business studies trip saw this group travel to three countries and two continents. Portugal, Spain, and Morocco were full of adventure, cultural exploration, and discovery.

In Lisbon, students and staff were captivated by the architecture, Pena Palace in Sintra, visiting Belem Tower on the Tagus River, and listening to a presentation by alumnus Walter Palma ’84.

Madrid greeted them with its lively streets and buskers. They visited IE University, the beautiful streets of Segovia, and attended a Champions League game between Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

Finally, Marrakech impressed with its bustling souks, ATV’ing in the Agafay Desert, enchanting ambiance, and tasting the delicious flavours of Moroccan cuisine.

“Throughout our journey, we embraced new experiences, created lasting friendships with people we met, and gained a deeper appreciation for the diverse cultures and traditions of each country we visited,” says Dr. Daniel Lumsden ’96, Community Engagement and Learning Lead and trip organizer. “Our trip was a blend of adventure, education, and inspiration that will leave a lasting impression on all the students.”

History – Italy and Greece

SMCS March Break Trips - History trip

Over the March Break, a group of 21 students and four teachers travelled to Italy and Greece to experience the Mediterranean culture and see the sites. In Rome, the group explored the ancient world with trips to the Colosseum and the ancient Roman Forum. They visited the Catacombs, The Vatican, St. Peter’s Square, St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, and Castel Sant’Angelo. Other highlights included the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon.

Students and staff also travelled to Pompeii to see the remains of a city frozen in time and then crossed the peninsula for a ferry ride to Greece. Along the way, they made a special stop at the Bari War Cemetery to pay respects at the grave of St. Michael’s alumnus and flight sergeant John Glen Brislan ’42, who was killed in action at the age of 20.

In Greece, their journey began at Ancient Olympia with a tour of the ancient stadium and grounds. From there, they stopped at the ruins of the Bronze Age city of Mycenae, then moved on to Athens, where they explored the Acropolis and the Plaka district.

“The whole experience was amazing, we were immersed in some of the most significant sites that impacted the growth of Western Civilization and covered almost four millennia of history in nine short days,” says David Lee ’94, vice principal and trip leader.

Music – Florida and the Bahamas

SMCS March Break Trips - Music trip

Thirty SMCS music students travelled to Florida and the Bahamas this March Break for an incredible journey full of music, amazing food, and a focus on creating some lasting memories for the graduating members of this talented ensemble.

After their flight to Orlando, Florida, the group travelled by bus to Cape Canaveral to enjoy a day at Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The next day, they boarded the Carnival Liberty cruise ship, bound for the Bahamas for a three-day sail, including a day at the island of Bimini.

“As luck would have it, a delayed departure allowed the students to see a SpaceX rocket launch from the nearby Kennedy Space Centre,” adds Jamie Oatt, head of the Music Department and trip leader.

The students enjoyed sharing amazing meals in the lavish dining room and many of the ship’s activities and live entertainment.

Once back on land, it was Orlando and the theme parks of Universal Studios, Disney Hollywood and Epcot that awaited.

On March 19, the SMCS Sr. Concert Band performed on an outdoor stage at Disney Springs, followed by a backstage recording workshop the next day.

“This workshop was especially engaging and musically rewarding as the students were led by Disney composer/arranger Mr. Allen Gray,” says Oatt.

Related links:

Experiential Learning at SMCS


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