Several students from George McDougall High School will be leaving on a jet plane tomorrow (May 18th) as they head to Australia.

The students are a part of the George Mac Global Encounters program which has been working hard just to get to this point.global encounters apr2018 credit gmhsThe Global Encounters students during an expedition in April (Photo Courtesy: George McDougall High School)

“I learnt about the trip halfway through my Grade 9 year,” says student Jaye, “While we were selecting our courses, we had to keep in mind that the trip was going to be a lot and take up a lot. Lots of us had to take online summer courses.”

Of course, the trip itself won’t be all fun in the sun and tanning on the beach. Teacher Ryan Haggarty explains.

“We’re landing in Melbourne and we’re travelling up to Bendigo to go into a gold mine up there. Then we travel over to the Grampians. We down to the Great Ocean Road and then we are up around Melbourne to do some sailing. From there we head up to Sydney to the Blue Mountains where they get to do an overnight backpacking trip.”

The team will eventually make their way through Sydney and on to the Gold Coast.

Cooper is another student joining the expedition and shares what he’s most excited for.

“What I’m most excited for activities wise, would definitely be Morton’s Island and we are snorkelling in an artificial reef. You can go through all these sunken ships and look and see all the ecosystems and all the fish.”

Haggarty concludes by saying that the one-month excursion through Australia is a tremendous learning experience for his students and he’s proud to be a part of it.

“What I really see from the students out of this program is they go from children to Young Adults. We’ve really seen students embody the idea of global citizens. They take on big trips of their own afterwards, they are comfortable. We’ve got kids that have never left Alberta or been in a tent and they are spending 30 days backpacking in tents and hostels and that changes their lives.”

You can follow the adventures of the Global Encounters students through their Twitter page.

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