Students and adults from Hillsdale Academy recently traveled to Europe for the school’s biennial overseas trip.
In the Academy’s largest group ever, 41 students, 32 parents, and five staff members traveled to Greece and Italy for 12 days during the school’s spring break, March 28 to April 9.
“We take everyone who wants to go,” Academy Headmaster Kenneth Calvert said.
While in Europe, the group visited landmark sites of the Classical, Christian, Medieval, and Renaissance traditions. In Athens, the group visited the Acropolis and the Agora and discussed the roots of Athenian democracy. In Rome, the students, parents, and staff visited the Forum, the Capitoline and Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon. These visits illustrated the birth of Republicanism and widespread Christianity in the Western world, Calvert said.
“The overall purpose of the trip is to provide an experience that completes our students’ study of the biblical and classical world,” Calvert said.
After studying history, literature, art and architecture in the classroom, the trip brought all of these elements to life as the students were able to mark the actual places that developed democracy and republicanism, Calvert said. Participants were also able to see the locations where several Christian Apostles lived and died.
In addition to the scholastic benefits of the trip, the group enjoyed an overnight ferry ride from Delphi, Greece, to Bari, Italy. The group also explored various museums of art and architecture in Italy and Greece. On the final day of their trip, the students, parents, and staff toured Venice.
The number of people that attended as well as the depth of insight they gained from professors and guides contributed to a valuable experience for the academy, Calvert said. The history they learned and witnessed ultimately contributes to their understanding of the American tradition and their place in it, he said.
“It is our hope that all of this will help them better understand the roots of American government as it was shaped by our Founders,” Calvert said.