"The knowledge we garnered in these subjects harnessed a sense of appreciation and wonder as we experienced these incredibly notable pieces of humanity, each one created to lift up God, his power, and his son Jesus...With friends and teachers at our side in cities full of light, history, and culture, it is not difficult to honor what is true, good, and breathtakingly beautiful."
Notes from a Student on the Regents Junior Europe Trip
You are in the Accademia Gallery in the historical city of Florence, Italy. You stand in front of a near 17 foot sculpture crafted out of solid marble, depicting a teenage David before his infamous battle with the giant Goliath. The young man holds a rock in his right palm, and a slingshot in his left, slung over his shoulder as he calculates his mode of attack. Michelangelo’s David stretches high above you, carefully carved, reminding you of the sheer will and intentionality the sculptor took in creating what is purely true, good, and beautiful. You turn to your friends on either side of you, and their faces are full of the same awe and contemplation that you’re certain yours is. This is the Regents Junior Europe trip experience.
Every year for almost two weeks during the month of March, the Regents Junior class tours Western Europe, going to London, experiencing the range of history in Paris, France, and traveling down to Italy for an exploration of the ancient cities Pisa, Florence, and Rome. In between each city, there are culturally immersive excursion days, giving students like me the opportunity to enjoy and observe not only the history of these culturally rich cities, but the way in which this history is appreciated among the common people and incoming generations.
The experience was truly an overwhelming confirmation of the presence of history, education, beauty, and God in the modern day. The trip provided a real life experience of the history and beauty that we spend most of the Rhetoric curriculum studying, touching on the Greek and classical history of ninth grade in places like the British Museum and the Louvre in Paris, the medieval history of tenth grade year dominated by the meticulously designed cathedrals full of stained glass depicting stories of Jesus, with steeples reaching up towards the heavens, and finally the progression of Junior European history into the impressionism and expressionism seen in the Musée D’Orsay.
The knowledge we garnered in these subjects harnessed a sense of appreciation and wonder as we experienced these incredibly notable pieces of humanity, each one created to lift up God, his power, and his son Jesus. The annual Regents Junior class trip to Europe is an exciting, educational, and jam-packed experience, full of not only the connection and appreciation of knowledge and first hand observation, but also the opportunity to do all of this alongside our peers. With friends and teachers at our side in cities full of light, history, and culture, it is not difficult to honor what is true, good, and breathtakingly beautiful.