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Sometimes the Best Trips are the Small Ones with Big Memories
by Debbie Chan, Washington Academy of Languages (WAL), Student Activities Coordinator
Yes. It’s true that a picture says a thousand words. And what do these pictures here say to you? These photos were taken from our recent WAL student trip to Poulsbo, Washington, on the KitsapPeninsula. We took a Washington State Ferry and rode a Kitsap Transit bus to get there from downtown Seattle.
Even though our group was small… we had LOADS of fun together! We took photos of each other, talked about our different cultures during lunch, and laughed (and squirmed) as we visited the nearby Poulsbo Marine Center Aquarium touch tank, too! (We felt like kids again.) Bottom line: we started the trip as near strangers, but came out as good friends.
One student told me at the end of this trip that she was able to relax and feel more comfortable using her English with our group and with the storekeepers she met in town. She said that before this trip, she was not sure about her English ability to communicate. But after this trip, she said her self-confidence increased! Ahhhh…. Music to my ears. Simply wonderful!
Friendships are made on our activities. That’s why activities are so important. For our diverse set of international students who are new to our country and culture, the opportunity to meet new friends, build community, learn a new city in the safe company of others, and of course – to use their English outside of the classroom… are just some of the benefits of joining a WAL activity. Whether it’s a lunchtime party at school, or a weekend trip to a favorite festival or location in Seattle or beyond, we manage to always have a good time!
How can that be? I guess when a student feels relaxed, accepted, and part of a new adventure as a group – big or small – we bond. Sure – our plans and trips may not always go as smoothly as we like, or our group may be smaller than expected. Yet, we always seem to make the best of our time together. Plus, sometimes those times make the best memories! (I should know –I got LOTS of them!)
Do you want to join our activities and learn more about Seattle with us? Or, do you want to come along to help our students practice speaking English? (They love meeting other native English speakers.) Either way, contact me and let’s see how to get you started!
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