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Weather in Rome in December can be unpredictable, but this Christmas the international students at Everest Collegiate High School & Academy found sunshine and warm temperatures. Each year, the international students have the unique opportunity to attend the Christmas trip. This year’s trip itinerary brought the students to Rome, Florence, Venice, and Siena.

“The best part for me was visiting the Vatican; I was really impressed with St. Peter’s Square, and it was amazing to be with Pope Francis,” shared Bernardo Bay. Mariana Vega enjoyed the Venice portion of the trip, particularly knowing that this was the first time Venice as part of the Everest itinerary.

The trip is more than just a vacation with friends. The students gain both cultural knowledge as well as deep spiritual experience of Christmas and the Catholic Church. Eugenio Torres shared, “It was interesting to see the struggles of the Church. I was impressed by the Catacombs. That definitely changed me.”

What will the students remember most about the experience? “I will remember New Year’s dinner. It was so cool because I realized that I had already spent half of the year with my friends.” – Mariana Vega “I got to know girls that I hadn’t gotten to know yet this year. It was Christmas and New Years with my friends instead of my family.” – Arelly Cortes

The trip is always a turning point in the year for the international students. It marks the halfway point after semester exams and the beginning of their last semester at Everest. In many ways, they have been counting down to Christmas. Then, after Christmas, it all just seems to pass too quickly. “I am different in the way that I think. We are in the middle of the year, and it is passing quickly. On that trip we really got to know each other better,” shared Renata Martin Del Campo.

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