Distances with dedication

New school trips are now consistent once again at BHS.


Opportunity. Century and Bismarck High School students are invited to attend an international trip to a Spanish-speaking country. “I love taking students abroad when I am able,” Bismarck High School Spanish teacher Laine Martinez said.

Alannah Kemmis, Writer

It is a new year and many new opportunities are making their way back to BHS. One of those opportunities is travel. In March of 2020, the world went into quarantine and travel was nonexistent.

Now that things are steadily coming back, the idea of traveling is strongly making its way back to BHS. 

“COVID-19 affected school trips for 2 full years,” Bismarck High School Spanish teacher Laine Martinez said. 

Traveling after quarantine was still a challenge for the school districts due to the desired location’s requirements and restrictions. Many places had vaccine policies and airlines were more strict than ever. But now in 2023, school districts and advisors predict and are experiencing more and more flexibility when it comes to traveling with a small or even large group of students.

“I’m sure that since travel restrictions have been lifted, there may be more trips,” Century High School Spanish teacher Andee Adams-Woodmansee said. 

Recently, a new trip has been introduced to the students in the Spanish room. This trip is going to take place in Ecuador in 2024, as it is the second international Spanish trip taken since COVID-19. Both Century and Bismarck High School students have the opportunity to attend even without being enrolled in a Spanish learning class.

“We’d love for students to be in Spanish,” Martinez said. “However, this isn’t a requirement.” 

Various different clubs, classes and sports continuously travel locally, nationally and internationally. Lots of students are presented with different opportunities to travel with BHS. However, the cost of travel is not usually cheap. 

“I think most students would love to experience different parts of the world,” Martinez said. “Unfortunately, the cost is a factor for most.”

School advisors are not responsible for the cost of trips as they are not the ones who plan it. School trips do plan in advance in case of full preparation and have the option for students to pay in increments. 

“We have no control over the prices. They are set by our travel companies,” Adam-Woodmansee said. “I think that my trip to Ecuador is a reasonable price as we will be staying for two weeks, take four different flights and everything is included.”

When BPS advisors and teachers plan and gather trips, they offer students a chance to expand their education and experiences, as well as something called ‘sociocultural competency’ which is a component for the Seal of Biliteracy.

 “The Seal of BIliteracy is a seal for the diploma and e-transcript level IV language students can achieve by demonstrating proficiency in English and another language.” Martinez said. 

Trips abroad offer a lot more than just a check. Trips planned by BHS, as well as other schools in the district, are all planned carefully with travel agencies and are purposed for education. 

“I believe most experiences abroad are experiences to learn,” Martinez said. “Traveling is certainly more educational than not.”