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During Contextual Travel Week, Students Visited 10 European Countries

June at Erudito Licėjus – a time for contextual activities and trips. In addition to a variety of contextual activities, students from grades 1 to 10 traveled extensively – during the contextual travel week, they visited 10 European countries along with their teachers.

Students visited Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Ireland, France, and their major cities and historical regions – Brussels, Copenhagen, Krakow, Warsaw, Riga, Tartu, Tallinn, Vienna, Budapest, Helsinki, Dublin, Paris, and also visited Caen in Normandy. They did not skip the Lithuanian seaside either – sending good vibes and photos from Dreverna and Nida.

Both Amusement Parks and Embassies

Students visited historical sites and popular attractions, without forgetting entertainment. For example, a memorable visit for elementary school students was to Poland’s largest amusement park, “EnergyLandia” (covering 35 hectares with over 106 different attractions). Eighth-graders in Paris also had a surprise – a visit to the Asterix amusement park.

“Together with the sun, rain, and wind, we gained energy, adrenaline, and good emotions!” – with such spirits, the primary school students (and the older ones) returned home.

The itineraries of older students were both historical and diplomatic. Kaunas Erudito Licėjus’ students managed to visit the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Dublin and interact with Ambassador Marijus Gudynas and Chargé d’Affaires Dalia Sukackienė. Students were interested in how to become a diplomat, what studies are required to work in the Lithuanian diplomatic service, what diplomats do, and what path one must take to become an ambassador, and so on.

The visit to the Lithuanian embassy was a unique experience for Kaunas students – their first encounter with diplomacy and an opportunity to understand how Lithuania’s interests are represented and defended abroad. In May, tenth-graders from Kaunas Erudito Licėjus traveled to Brussels for contextual experiential activities, visiting the Museum of European History, where they also enriched their knowledge: “Interactive activities, an overview of European history from the Middle Ages to the present day, economic development of countries, geopolitics. This museum and activities left none of us indifferent,” said class teacher Kristina Celiešiūtė, who accompanied the students. They also visited the “Mini Europe” museum, where they saw representative buildings of all EU countries, and the “Atomium” museum.

The students’ favorite task was “Guides to Themselves”: “With a map and Google Maps, we tried to get to know Brussels, visit the beautiful architectural heritage. We visited a chocolate factory, where we had a detailed experiential activity about chocolate production. A wonderful trip, wonderful activities, but most importantly – our friendship is strong and real!” – class teacher Kristina Celiešiūtė rejoiced over the successful trip.

To Normandy with a Šakotis

One of the most memorable and impressive trips was to Normandy, from which the international and national class eighth-graders returned full of impressions. They brought a traditional Lithuanian šakotis as a gift to the French school. The eighth-graders visited the most famous places in this historic region of France: the tourist-frequented Mont Saint-Michel (visited by about 3 million tourists a year), St. Peter’s Church, Caen Market, and the castle. We remind you that the trips are contextual, not only for fun but also for learning, so at the market, the eighth-graders had to buy food in French; according to French teacher Chloé Boyaval, who accompanied the eighth-graders, this task was successfully completed, and everyone was most impressed by… strawberries, others bought meat, cheese, famous French crêpes, or pastries, for which the French are also famous. During their free time, students could independently explore Caen’s old town (the most popular store – “Sephora” (shh!)).

According to the teacher, she was most surprised by the students’ courage and determination to communicate with French students – they not only interacted among themselves but also looked for common ground (they found it – basketball!). A useful experience was also living with French families for a few days during the visit.

Allowing Creativity and Community to Flourish

Contextual trips are a very important element of education, allowing the creativity of both teachers and students to flourish. And at the end of the school year, such education is also very enjoyable, providing opportunities to be together, strengthen team spirit and community, reinforce agreements through experience, teach responsibility, and allow experiencing such a diverse world. By creatively engaging in contextual activities, children actively explore our world and environment, deepen their knowledge – thus best realizing the educational material.

As primary school teacher Jūratė Babickienė states, trips for students mean fellowship, discovery, adventures, friendship, joy, and in the future – some of the most beautiful memories from school years; for teachers – great responsibility, determination, dedication, and also discovery, joy, realizing that we learn from each other.