Europe on horizon for B'ville students

A 19-day European tour is in store for Durgee students Andrew King, 14, and Shannon Wallace, 13.

The youth will participate in this summer's People to People program, which will visit Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Germany.

"When I first got the letter saying I was nominated to go on this trip of a lifetime, I knew I wanted to go," Andrew said.

The People to People Student Ambassador program offers students in fifth through 12th grades educational travel opportunities designed to foster friendship, build a foundation for personal success and offer unique access to people, places and activities. The program begins locally enabling students to make friends in their surrounding communities before traveling globally.

Accommodations, transportation and food are all included in the price of the program. Andrew and Shannon will travel with approximately 45 people and will stay in many different places including hotels and a home stay with a family.

Despite traveling at a young age without their parents, both the King and Wallace families trust their children are in good hands.

"It is a bit scary to think of my child, who will be 15 at the time of the trip, visiting other countries without us," said Lisa King, Andrew's mother. "However, we have been so impressed with the People to People organization and have a comfort level about how structured the program is and how responsible and experienced the adult leaders are. It is a tremendous opportunity for Andrew, and [his father and I] are proud that he will be able to participate."

Andrew also looks forward to the trip and how it will help him better understand other cultures.

"I think this will help me work well with other people," he said. "I can't wait to visit other countries and talk with people so I can better understand our similarities and differences."

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