Trip will take Niles students Down Under

Published 4:38 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Jennifer Schembri prefers her vacations to be a learning experience. That is why the Niles High School teacher is planning her summer trip to Australia with a small group of students and teachers.
The two week trip is booked entirely through EF Educational Tours, which Schembri called an, “education first tourist company.” The Spanish teacher is already experienced with the company through her 2004 trip to Costa Rica, which focused more on the language aspect for the students. As far as the decision to travel to Australia, Schembri said it was totally up to the students.
The program even includes a full-time tour director for the duration of the trip, which Schembri said was a valuable tool in the Costa Rica trip.
The Australia adventure will also include a trip through a rainforest during a one-day stop in Cape Tribulation.
The group - Schembri, three students and two other teachers who are not from Niles High School - will leave the U.S. on July 6 and fly into Auckland, New Zealand.
The three-day stay on the island will include a tour of the Waitomo Caves. The journey features a wooden boat ride to see the Glowworm Grotto and the millions of worms that light the walls of the caves. “I looked on the Internet and it looks like stars,” Schembri said. “And I thought, how cool is that?”
Day six of the tour will put the group into Sydney to view the famous opera house and harbor, and, leave them the option of visiting the Blue Mountains in the Featherdale Wildlife Park.
Schembri said the group also plans to snorkel around the barrier reef before heading to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest.
The group will return on July 19. “It's a nice part of summer to go,” she said. “That way you don't get back and head right back to school.”
For the students, raising enough money to go may be quite an adjustment in itself, Schembri said.
Schembri said those interested in the Australia trip this summer can contact her at Niles High School.