What It Is Like Traveling Internationally With A Group Of Mentor/TEAM Students

I have three rules of thumb when it comes to travelling internationally with our HS students and yet again this March Break, they each came to fruition while I was with the music and art trip to Italy.

Rule #1: I will be asked for directions in the airport.
Even with my nametag prominently announcing that I am the administrative principal of Mentor College and TEAM School, at least one traveller will ask me an airport-related question like “where is the Qantas counter?” I guess we do not own a monopoly on navy blazers, ties and grey pants…

Rule #2: I will see more than one school family during the trip.
One family was in the Air Canada line when we left Pearson and when we got to the security check, a Grade 9 boy and his family let me cut in front of them to allow me to stay with the group. Mr. Hoare met a man who had just organized a music educator’s conference and had worked with a former student of ours (Julian Lam) in one of the seminars. And when we were making our connection in Frankfurt on the way home, we were approached by a Grade 8 grad from the early 90s named Michael Lista. Michael was “Aladdin” in the Intermediate musical way back when and is now a professional poet!

Rule #3: I will get many compliments about our students.
From airline employees to tour guides to bus drivers to members of the public, the teachers and I never tired of hearing how nice/smart/well-behaved/clean/respectful our students were. Whether we are travelling halfway across the globe or just up the street to the Living Arts Centre, our students always represent Mentor College and TEAM School very well. They are just wonderful people to be around…so wonderful that the chaperones actually start thinking about the NEXT trip to take while the current trip is taking place!

Chris Starkey
Administrative Principal
Mentor College / TEAM School

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