Mayer outlines the main reasons why the trip program has spanned the School’s fifty-five years and is still going strong:
- “We see the world firsthand, not in a book. So much of modern life is mediated through screens or the printed word. There is no adequate substitute for direct contact.
- We meet new and different people. Most trips will have your child alongside peers he or she doesn't know, as well as locals from the place they visit. This will expand their horizons and give them new resources and friends.
- Experience fuels connections and interests. Many choices for college majors were chosen at St. Stephen's on the basis of what was experienced on a school trip.
- Trips give us a chance to see the interconnections of our disciplines. The architecture of the Alhambra is about art and technology, but it's also about history, religion, politics, and geography.
- We will do things we've never done. We might scuba dive, meditate, rock-climb, or dig for ruins. Some of these activities will stretch us beyond our comfort, physically and intellectually. This will make us into more rich and capable citizens”.
While the global coronavirus pandemic partially upended trips this spring, St. Stephen’s students travel twice in an academic year to destinations throughout Italy in the fall and venture farther afield in the spring to countries in Europe and North and West Africa. In preparation for each journey, we encourage students to have conversations with their parents and with each other about why we go, what might challenge them, and what it means to have surrendered to the richness of a trip. The world is waiting to reveal itself; they, we, must have eyes to see and ears to listen.