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Milton Hershey School Students Return with Enriched Perspectives After International Learning Experience

After weeks of anticipation and cultural immersion, a group of Milton Hershey School students returned from their transformative travel abroad experience in Spain. Brimming with newfound perspectives and enriched with memories, these young explorers have not only broadened their understanding of Spanish culture and language but have also deepened their bonds with each other.

The group, consisting of 25 Senior Division students, embarked on this journey as part of the MHS International Learning Experiences program. Their itinerary was an immersion into the Spanish language and culture through the exploration of historical landmarks, artistic masterpieces, and the bustling rhythm of modern-day life in Spain.

“I firmly believe in the MHS International Learning Experiences program,” shared MHS Associate Senior Director of Enhanced Learning Brett Stark. “We offer life-changing opportunities for students to grow mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally to stretch themselves to new boundaries and try new things.”

One of the highlights of their trip was their time in Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage City. Students navigated the city’s winding streets and mixture of culture and architecture, dating back to the Middle Ages.

The students also had the opportunity to dive into Spain’s rich culinary traditions. From cooking authentic tapas with a Spanish chef to exploring a local market, each meal was an exploration of Spanish flavors and culture.

They ended their travels riding the El Ave, Spain’s speed rail from Madrid to Barcelona. The students dipped their feet in the Mediterranean Sea, walked the iconic Las Ramblas, and marveled at the architectural wonders of Antoni Gaudí, including Sagrada Família and Park Güell.

Beyond the tourist attractions, the students engaged in meaningful interactions with locals, practicing their Spanish language skills and gaining insights into everyday Spanish life. Whether chatting with vendors at local markets or participating in a city-wide scavenger hunt, every moment was a chance to connect with the heart of Spanish culture.

While the trip was filled with adventure and exploration, it was also a time of personal growth for many.

“The most beautiful thing about this adventure was watching the experiential learning take place as students traversed major cities in Spain,” shared MHS Associate Director of Transitional Living and lead chaperone Jonathan Small. “By the end of the trip, they had transformed from tourists to travelers, evidenced in the skills they learned and their change in mindset.”

As they settle back into their routine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, these students carry with them more than just souvenirs and photographs. They return with a broader perspective of the world, a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity, and a treasure trove of memories that will last a lifetime.

“I know that this program is providing experiences for these students that they will take with them for the rest of their lives,” said Stark. “They will remember this tour, the places they went, the people they met, the cultures they experienced. And I know that it’s going to change them and make them better people and that excites me. That’s why we’re all here, for the kids.”

The MHS International Learning Experiences program aims to provide students with an awareness of global careers and cultures in and outside the classroom. Every high school student can apply to travel abroad, with the cost of the trip covered by MHS. The language immersion tour to Spain is the school’s 18th study abroad opportunity. Prior tours took students to Panama, the United Kingdom, Germany, Costa Rica, Thailand, Quebec, Peru, Ghana, and more.

Learn more about Multicultural and Global Education at MHS

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.