Europe Tour brings history to life for Year 11 students

October 26, 2018

Year 11 History students took their learning out of the classroom and into Europe over the school holidays on the 2018 History Tour to Moscow, St Petersburg, Berlin, Rome, and Pompeii.

The 28 students and four teachers began their whirlwind two-week tour in Moscow, before taking the train to Saint Petersburg and ending up in Italy via Germany.

“I turned into a kind of history nerd on the tour,” reflected Year 11 student Caitlyn So. “All the museums, all the galleries, all the sites … they were so amazing to see.”

“Walking into each cathedral was so amazing, because you think about how long each of them have been there for, and how old they are,” she said. “You look up to the ceilings and there is so much detail in everything. And the little mosaics in tiny little pieces are just really beautiful.”

Aside from the “incredible gelato”, the best part of the trip for Cameron Ryan was exploring the different cultures of Europe.

“From Russia to Germany to Italy, the ways of life were all so different,” he said. “They all had such diverse lifestyles, even though they were geographically very close together.”

Students and teachers explored areas that correlated with the Modern and Ancient History syllabuses for Year 12. For Adrian Dell, the content became very real.

“What you study in class is very different when you’re actually there,” he said. “When we were studying parts of WWII, it sounded sort of fictional. But when you’re seeing these sites as they’ve been preserved, it becomes very real.”

Caitlyn agreed. “In Modern History, we are studying the Nazi Regime, and in Ancient History, we’re looking at Pompeii. We look at a map of Pompeii in class but we have just walked through it!”

Learning on the tour went far beyond syllabus dot points.

“I think the biggest thing we learned was respect,” Caitlyn said of the trip. “We went to a Nazi concentration camp and we were really solemn and respectful. But we saw other kids running around everywhere, and some older people were smoking. That kind of shocked us. It was really important to remember [what this place represented].”

And none of it would have been possible without the dedication of the teachers.

“Mrs Panczyk was a mother to us. I love her so much,” she said.

“We were all learning together,” Adrian said. “And we all had one thing in common: our love of history.”

— Anthony Segaert