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Five Tips for Traveling Abroad with Middle School Students

Here are the five most important things to remember when taking students ages 12-14 with a limited Spanish vocabulary to a foreign country.
  1. Never, ever take the parents. I mean it. You will be sorry if you do. If Johnny is in the Prado Museum drawing a mustache on the upper lip of Princess Margarita in Velázquez painting Las Meninas, you’ll want to be able to reprimand him affectively without mom and dad’s concern of stifling his creativity.
  2. You can never have too much toilet paper. This is especially true in Mexico where we were once given the funnies section when entering the bathroom. One very obtuse student commented that he wouldn’t have time to sit and read since the bus was getting ready to leave.
  3. Imodium is you friend. I would advise buying stock in it before leaving the country for anywhere in Latin America. Teenagers love to test 'the don’t drink the water theory.'
  4. When traveling in a tropical land, always check your shoes before putting them on. 14-year-old girls and scorpions do not mix well.
  5. Disregard the amount of times you say each trip, “ I’ll never do this again”. You will do it again. It’s like childbirth. You’ll quickly forget the excruciating pain and the sleepless nights and only remember what if feels like to be seeing things once again, for the first time, through the eyes of the young.
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