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Expanding Horizons


Gilmour Academy is one dot on a massive world map. The entire campus is a speck amongst gaping continents and massive bodies of water. That speck expands when students travel abroad to experience new cultures.

Over the summer, students had the chance to travel on an eight-day trip to France. Accompanied by Mr. Kazel, students visited the birthplace of Gilmour’s values. Megan Misencik (`16) said, “I got to see the Holy Cross Church which was amazing because it is essentially where our school began.” Gilmour’s relations with other countries run deep.

Wishing to be fully immersed in Spanish culture, Kaley McLaughlin (`17) traveled to Spain. For three weeks, she and other Gilmour students studied language, history, and culture at a Spanish school centered in Madrid. McLaughlin said, “My favorite part of the trip was living with a host family because it allowed me to get a feel for authentic life in Spain.”

In her daily routine, McLaughlin attended a Spanish school centered in Madrid where she studied language, history, and culture. She also visited the beautiful royal palaces of Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo and also explored the Alhambra, a palace and fortress located in Granada.

Not only did McLaughlin learn about Spanish culture, but she learned about herself as well. She claimed that the trip made her realize the importance of being independent and aware of one’s surroundings. Overall, she suggests that students go on this Gilmour led trip and challenge themselves by becoming immersed in a foreign culture

While Gilmour offers many opportunities for students to travel, students often experience the world with their families. Jaqui Hawkins (`16) enjoyed a cruise around the Mediterranean, stopping in both Italy and Spain. For twelve days in January, Hawkins experienced life at sea and was exposed to new cultures.

When asked about favorite destinations, Hawkins said, “I loved the island Malta. On the island, there were a couple flea markets and a fish market.” She enjoyed the flea market because she thought that it had a nice selection of clothing and accessories. The fish market, however, was on a dock next to some boats and she described it as being smelly.

With students traveling the world is Gilmour a global community?

McLaughlin answered, “Yes! Gilmour is a global community because its students have the opportunity to cross borders and learn about other people.”

Hawkins disagrees. She said, “Although we are diverse and inclusive, I don’t think we truly take in other cultures.”

McLaughlin and Hawkins agree that it is time to consider what a global community is and how all students can take in new cultures.



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Caroline Ursu (`16) grew up, and currently lives in Richmond Heights, Ohio. The 2015-16 school year marks Caroline’s twelfth year at Gilmour Academy, and her second time as a member of the Lance staff. For 9th grade, Caroline attended Hawken. She currently writes on the Senior column. She plans to major in Business at Elon University. Caroline is a second-year member of Peace and Justice Club, a third-year member of SADD, a third-year member of the Blue and Gray Society, and a first-year member of The Measles. She was also an extra in the movie Draft Day. You can find Caroline practicing gymnastics in her free time.