Global Religions students travel abroad without leaving classroom


Madison Chan, Staff Writer

As finals draw closer, students around the school are stressing over the memorization of mathematical equations, historical dates, and scientific theories. However, the students in Mrs. Tammy McKibben’s Global Religions class are worrying over the price of food in Dublin, the modes of transportation in Spain, and the conversion of Moroccan dirham to U.S. dollars.

This year, the end of year project for Global Religions students is to plan a trip – anywhere in the world – for seven to 10 days and with a budget of $3000.  The only major requirement is that their destination must have at least two major world religions connected with it.

Although the project is open-ended, there are still numerous factors that the students must take into consideration.

“We really had to look into the price differentials between the euro and dollar and the type of money they use in Morocco… and also the different travel warnings that the state department puts out,” said junior Sam Daniel, who is planning a trip to Morocco and Spain. “There’s a lot that goes into planning a trip, and it’s not as simple as buying a plane ticket and flying there.”

However, despite the complexity of planning, the students are able to see the benefits of their efforts. Senior Griffin Davis, who is planning a trip to Ireland, said that the project has been a good experience for him.

“It’s cool to go through the process of planning a trip and see what obstacles you have to overcome,” Davis said.

However, this isn’t the main reason why students have taken to the project with an extraordinary amount of excitement and zeal. This project has an added bonus.

World Travel Services, a local travel agency, donated $250 in gift cards to offer as a prize for the student or group of students who creates the best project, as determined by Mrs. McKibben and one or more outside judges. This reward has increased the students’ enthusiasm and the determination to produce an outstanding project.

“Mrs. McKibben and (administrator) Mrs. (Rachel) Harmon worked very hard to get us a $250 cash prize that can go towards our trip if we decide to actually go it,” Davis said. “It’s sort of an incentive to plan a very detailed trip and make it appealing.”

This is the second year that the Global Religions class has done a major project. Last year, students competed in the National History Day Competition, but this year, with a spring class instead of a fall one, the competition was not a possibility.

But now, with two possible projects for future classes, the success of this year’s travel project will have a big impact on whether or not it will continue to be a part of the class in the future.

“I’m actually really excited to see what everybody comes up with,” Mrs. McKibben said. “And who knows? Maybe I can take one of the [trip plans] and implement it myself.”