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Spring Break in Europe: An unforgettable experience

Seventeen students, three teachers and other adult chaperones left Indianapolis International Airport on April 1, 2017, for a tour of four European cities.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications 

Before April 1, 2017, Scecina junior Kaylee Thompson had never been outside of Indiana much, let alone the United States. She had never flown on a plane. 

What she possessed was a newly minted passport and dreams to see the world. For about 18 months she had been meeting with Scecina teachers and other students to plan their eight-day Spring Break trip to Europe. The “European Quartet” excursion would take them to four cities on the continent. 

“I’m hoping to travel the world someday,” Kaylee, a Holy Cross Catholic School graduate, said before the trip. “This is just the first step.” 

On April 1, the year and a half of anticipation was over. Kaylee and 16 other Scecina students met at Indianapolis International Airport and boarded a jet for a trans-Atlantic journey that would take them to Amsterdam, where they would continue on to Brussels, Paris and London. Scecina social studies teachers Jeff Getty, Nikki Rosswurm and Andrew Smith accompanied them. 

In each city, they had a local tour guide who could speak English as well as the local language. Among the highlights of their busy schedule, the Scecina group saw windmills and the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam; the twinkling Eiffel Tower at night in Paris; the British Parliament in London, where they took the Jack the Ripper walking tour; and the Atomium and the European Parliament in Brussels. The travelers had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower and experimented with new foods. Kaylee tried escargot and crepes made on the streets of Paris. 

She couldn’t choose just one of the places as her favorite city. 

“They were all my favorite,” she said. “If I had to choose to live in one, it would be Amsterdam because of the architecture and all of the bicycles. I love riding bikes.” She also liked visiting the Anne Frank House because she’s interested in studying the Holocaust. 

Scecina has made travel, including to Europe, part of the student experience every few years. Mr. Smith has been to Europe before on Scecina trips, and Mrs. Rossworm has taken school trips, but Mr. Getty was on his first. “It was awesome,” he said. 

All three teachers said the travels open up a new world to the students. Most, if not all, of the students have never been abroad. The well-planned tours bring to life the lessons they learned in human geography, history and other social studies classes at Scecina. Plus, it’s a chance to interact with and experience different cultures. Mr. Smith has used photos he’s taken on the trips for his classes at Scecina. 

Students would learn “more than they ever would know” during the trip, said Mrs. Rosswurm, chair of the Social Studies department. She said the school uses a travel company called EF Tours (, which has been providing educational tours for 50 years. The company, she said, is organized and very safety conscious. 

Students can sign on for the trip well in advance and start making monthly payments so the trip is very affordable. “They want to make it so everyone has a chance to make the trip,” said Kaylee, “Each student deserves the chance to see the world.” 

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