Inaugural India Trip date set for Spring 2017

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Upper School History teachers Sushmita Hodges and Ryan Oto are chaperoning the Spring 2017 India trip. Students will explore "how India lives in both the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st century all at once" Hodges said.

Noah Rice, Staff Writer

Gujarat, India is known for a vibrant modern textile industry, but it is built on a rich swath of culture and history. For the first time, history teachers Sushmita Hodges and Ryan Oto will take up to 15 students, grades 10-12, on a 12 day journey to Gujarat, India during St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s spring break to learn about Gujarat’s past and present. Gujarat is located on the west coast of India and will serve as home for the students throughout the trip. Students will leave in March, and will be participating in a great opportunity to connect with their studies of world religions and civilizations through learning experiences. The students will dive into studies of the culture in the city as well as contrast the culture to that of the rural communities.

The language department have been leading trips for many years now, so when the social studies department announced this international experience, many in the SPA community wondered why they had waited so long.

 “This trip was conceived 15 years ago, and just now all the parts have come together” Hodges said.

Hodges and Oto have partnered with an organization called International Honors Program which will help the students further explore, as Hodges puts it, “how India lives in both the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st century all at once.”

This trip was conceived 15 years ago, and just now all the parts have come together”

— Sushmita Hodges

The program has helped to coordinate activities for the students thought the trip, which will highlight the food, arts and crafts, and interactions with the people. Students will have a chance to experience art forms such as Henna and Appliqué, while being able to learn it for themselves.

To wrap up the trip, students who attend the trip will complete a research component in the form of a website, to highlight what they have learned. This research component will be a way to more broadly share what the students have learned with the SPA community. Hodges hopes that the students that go on this trip learn that “globalization is not always that answer,” and come home with a new view of the effects it can have on a society.

This year’s trip will be the first of what the social studies department hopes will become an annual occurrence, just like the language department trips. The trip, including housing and airfare, will cost about $3,000, but spending money will be extra. All students wishing to attend, or have any other questions should contact Sushmita Hodges or Ryan Oto, as well as fellow students who are interested.