By Wave Staff Report
LYNWOOD — Four Lynwood High School students will experience Japanese tea ceremonies in Tokyo, taste paella in Alicante, Spain, and learn German while traveling through Berlin this summer after earning Global Navigator Scholarships that will allow them to study abroad this summer.
Junior Melanie Pacheco will venture to Spain, juniors Crystal Cervantes and Daniel Perez will visit Germany and freshman Alicia Norberto will spend time in Japan during four-week trips in June and July that immerse the students in language and culture.
“I have never really traveled outside of the state, so it’s a good opportunity to see the world and broaden my horizon,” Pacheco said. “I also want to improve my Spanish, and I know that their Spanish differs from what I speak so I’m interested to see the differences.”
Each student will be joined on their travels by approximately 40 high school students from around the U.S. The participants will receive 60 hours of language instruction while spending time with a host family to share meals and learn local customs. Students also will receive college credit.
The Global Navigator program is run by the Council on International Exchange, a nonprofit organization promoting international education. The local students applied for the program by writing essays that shared their personal stories and expressed their desire to travel abroad.
Applicants must demonstrate leadership, and in some cases must be at a competent level of foreign language — the trip to Alicante requires students to speak Spanish at all times.
The program offers 18 destinations to choose from.
“In history, I learned about the Berlin Wall and Germany looks like such a beautiful country to visit,” Perez said. “I like the language as well. I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and sharing experiences with them.”
Cervantes said she has not traveled much beyond Lynwood and has her heart set on tasting the chocolate and cheese in Germany. She and Perez both study in Lynwood High’s biomedical pathway program and spend free time volunteering at St. Francis Medical Center.
Norberto is fascinated with Japanese culture, from anime to sushi and kimonos. She has dreams of one day becoming an international architect and is motivated to learn Japanese.
The students were encouraged to pursue the Global Navigator program by counselors and educators who observed their capacity for foreign language and appetite for personal growth.
This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers.