We are students from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, a pre-K–12th school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Global Innovations class is a new elective whose goal is to have us, the students, create and design an international experience to any location in the world, and then create businesses to pay for the cost. We researched the locations and built suggested itineraries ourselves, and now we’ve been challenged to come up with a business to fund each program. Along the way, we will build leadership, communication, project management, and negotiation skills. We will then bring these skills back to our community and share our knowledge with our peers, along with elementary students. Any additional funds we raise will go into a school-wide travel fund that will allow students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford these trips to go.
Three destinations have been chosen: Cambodia, Chile, and Russia. The ideas for fundraising range from teaming up with local businesses, hunger awareness banquets and, many others.
The Cambodia trip will be a cultural odyssey, where we will immerse ourselves in Cambodian society through service and touring. We’ll be working with numerous Cambodian NGOs, staying in the village of Ang Tapok in homestays, where we will learn about the intricacies of Cambodia. We will spend two days purely on service: helping build irrigation systems and teaching English at a village school in Ang Tapok. In addition to this fabulous service and cultural exploration, we will visit Siem Reap to discover the historic, majestic Angkor temples.
In Chile, we’ll be flying into Santiago to explore a culturally and geographically diverse land. We will stay in Providencia, which will allow direct access to the downtown international cuisine We will go to Viña del Mar and Valparaiso to visit the agricultural valleys of Casablanca and Curacaví. Next we will take plane to Atacama Desert to visit the Valley of the Moon as well as the Atacama salt lakes. We will also go and see an active lascar volcano called Cancavur Volcano. We will visit the sand figure, Tres Marias, and take an optional hike in the sand dunes, as well as traveling to the Maipo River Valley to go rafting and take astronomy tour that evening. We will visit Laguna Chaxa in the Flamingo National Reserve, the blue-black twin lagoons, and the El Tatio geysers to experience the natural world firsthand. We will also visit the historic village of Machuca and explore ancestral homes to understand the history and culture of Chile. Lastly, we will go to Start-Up Chile to meet their team and talk about the ecosystem in Chile and how they are trying to become the business hub of South America.
In Russia, we will visit both Moscow and St. Petersburg to discover the history and culture of one of the largest countries in the world. The trip will start along the Volga in Moscow, the nation’s capital and largest city. As we visit historic places like Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, the Kremlin, and GUM department store, we will experience the story behind each of these places firsthand. In addition to visiting these tsarist and Soviet Russia masterpieces, we will work with Intertech and Coca-Cola to learn about the prominent business center Russia has become. More specifically, Coca-Cola will take us through the world of water conservation in Russia. Next, we will travel to St. Petersburg, the city some know as Russia’s cultural capital. With its strategic placement on the Baltic Sea, St. Petersburg became an important city from a very early time. Students will visit Nevsky Prospect (the setting of Crime and Punishment), The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, the Winter Palace, the State Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Moika Palace, and the State Russian Palace.
These are the travels of our dreams, and we hope that you can help bring them to fruition. Each international odyssey is full of exciting sights and opportunities.