Germany trip sparks curiosity, gratitude in students


Photo contributed by Samantha Sandrew ’25.

Students observed both historic and modern German culture during their April trip. Various street artwork is displayed on the Spandauer Vorstadt street in Berlin.

Traveling across the world to visit cities filled with different cultures, food and history. This is exactly what some Staples students did over their April break. 

World Language Department Chair Maria Zachery led 30 students and four other chaperones (Science Department Chair John DeLuca, math teacher Nicole Giuliani and social studies teachers Jonathan Feagin and Nell-Ayn Lynch) on an educational trip to Germany. Over 10 days the group traveled all throughout Germany, hitting places like Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg, Dachau, Munich, Rottenberg, Heidelber and Frankfurt.

Zachary organized the trip’s itinerary to ensure the students had a packed vacation. 

“We ate breakfast early, on the bus by 7:45 a.m., and didn’t return to the hotel until 7 p.m,” Lynch said. “We spent much of the day walking through these cities, learning about the rich history from local tour guides.”

Not only is it a much better learning experience than what we learn in school, it also is a great way to meet new people,

— Vigo Peixoto ’23

The group also visited the Dachau concentration camp which held prisoners of war and Jewish people during World War II. 

It was both one of the worst and best parts of the trip as I got to actually understand what happened there more than I ever would have known In school,” Vigo Peixoto ’23 said. 

The trip really showed students the reality of war and how it impacted Germany. 

“I can speak for me and some of my friends that were there [at Dachau] when it said it made us nauseous just being there,” Peixoto said. 

Students and faculty also learned about World War I and II.

“I think a trip like this really drove home the impact war has on a nation both physically and socially,” Lynch said. “Visiting a documentation center and a concentration camp was very powerful – something you won’t get just from reading about it or watching a documentary.” 

The educational experience that the Germany trip during the 2023 spring break was overall very beneficial to the students.

“Not only is it a much better learning experience than what we learn in school, it also is a great way to meet new people,” Peixoto said. “I made new friends there that I would not have ever met.