Fair Grove Culture Club Takes on the World

January 25, 2022

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Culture Club on their trip to Spain in 2016.

Culture Club has worked hard to provide students of Fair Grove opportunities to learn and travel the world in a tight-knit group.

In past years, they have journeyed to Spain, Belize, and other far away places. Students get to experience different cultures and languages in real life. The benefits gained from these trips are immense, and they have a blast while they are there.

Shelly Thornton, head of Culture Club, said, “Traveling to another country is often a life-changing event. It is fun for me to provide students with the opportunity to see what they’re learning in the classroom come to life-learning about another country’s art, history, architecture, language, or lifestyle from a textbook can be useful, but experiencing it firsthand is unforgettable.”

Travel has scientifically proven benefits, according to NBC News, such as improved physical and mental health, which includes relieved stress, lowered risk for depression, and increased satisfaction. It does not end there; someone who has traveled to other countries will experience different ways of life. They can become more open-minded to new traditions and customs. It is difficult to understand the unknown, but international travel allows people to build relationships and make meaningful connections.

“I love sharing my love for travel and other cultures with Fair Grove students, and seeing that love ignite for them too,” Thornton voiced. She has taken many students on these trips. 

Since the pandemic, travel has become exceedingly difficult. While much of the world is opening back up, there are still serious restrictions in place. Culture Club has had to adapt to these challenges. One unique challenge is vaccination requirements. These requirements have put a stop to one trip already.

Hanne Ghanem (12), Culture Club member, explained, “We were supposed to go to Greece this summer, but because people don’t want to be vaccinated…” Vaccinations are not currently required in the US. According to Our World in Data, 63.4% of the population is vaccinated, meaning a large portion of the population are not.

Nevertheless, plans for future trips are being made now. The upcoming plan is a journey to Costa Rica in June 2023. Thornton stated, “Our tour company will keep a close eye on mandates and travel restrictions to make sure it’s safe for us to travel.” This means there is much to look forward to.

Culture Club is open to everyone. All that needs to be done is signing up for a trip, and you’ll be a member for life. Your friends and family could even accompany you on your travels. The chance to experience a trip like that is extremely exciting for many. Ghanem shared, “I haven’t traveled yet, but I can’t wait.”

Works Cited:

Laton, Larry. “5 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Traveling Abroad.” NBC News´s BETTER, 19 May 2017. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/wellness/5-scientifically-proven-health-benefits-traveling-abroad-n759631

Mathieu, E., Ritchie, H., Ortiz-Ospina, E. et al. “A global database of COVID-19 vaccinations.” Nat Hum Behav, 2021. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations?country=USA

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