RFH Students Travel the Globe

December 8th, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 3, 2015


RFH Students Travel the Globe

For World Language Immersion

From left, RFH juniors Mariah Parsons, Megan Volker, and Abby Drummond volunteering at an orphanage in Peru.



Rumson – Two groups of students and chaperones from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School traveled to China and Peru to immerse themselves in culture and language.

The two World Language Immersion trips were organized by Michel Salazar, RFH Supervisor of World Languages, and took place from October 31st through November 11th.

Traveling to Peru were 30 students and six chaperones – RFH Principal Dr. Tracy Handerhan, Michel Salazar, and World Language Teachers Christina Gauss, Daniella Goodarz, Seth Herman, and Yannell Maglione.

The group arrived at Cusco Airport and was transported to Maximo Nivel (Spanish School).

The students volunteered at a local orphanage for a full week for four hours each day, participating in activities including creating a garden for the children, painting houses, reading and playing with the children, creating arts and crafts activities, and playing soccer.

They also studied advanced-level conversational Spanish for two hours every day. And in addition to sharing meals with their host families, the students dined at Peruvian restaurants.

Special activities included tours of Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley (with stops in Pisac, Urubamba,and Chinchero), Qoricancha Museum, and Ollantaytambo. The students also participated in a “Day of the Dead” cemetery tour and visited the world-famous Christoblanco statue atop the mountain overlooking Cuzco.

“We had the opportunity to see so many wonderful things and learn so much about the Peruvian culture,” said RFH senior Tess Chandler. “Also, volunteering with the children at the orphanage was an amazing experience and put everything into perspective.”

RFH senior Heather Culver agreed, saying “You just can’t put into words how amazing working with the children was.”

“All of them were so happy and appreciative, it made saying ‘goodbye’ nearly impossible.”

In fact, the visiting students haven’t really “said goodbye” to the Peruvian children. Students in the RFH Spanish National Honor Society and their advisor Christina Gauss are currently planning a fundraiser to support the orphanage. They will be raising money to help provide curtains needed for their seven houses, or “casitas,” of the orphanage.

Students traveling to Peru included sophomores Juliana Balaban-Kroll, Sebastian Buckley, Julia Handerhan, Brian Incremona Jr., Leo Maita, and Emma Singleton; juniors Abigail Drummond, Olivia Flippo, Julia Gagliano, Giavana Hanna, Mariah Parsons, Emily Ross, Jane Russo, Natalie Santos, Brittany Schmell, Paige Venancio, Isabella Vernon, Megan Volker, and Emily Weis; and seniors Emily Boak, Tess Chandler, Heather Culver, Kelly Danaher, Jordanna Drazin, Maren Gierlatowicz, Meghan O’Connor, Jenna Sandoli, Katherine Sustick, and Christina Tardiff.

For the World Language Immersion trip to China, 22 students and four chaperones – RFH English Teacher Kathryn Borsuk, Superintendent Dr. Peter Righi, and World Language Teachers Rebecca Wang and Matthew Yang – explored the Chinese language and culture, and participated in family life and education.

The group first arrived in Beijing where they enjoyed an excursion to the Great Wall and also visited the Forbidden City and Tian Tan Temple (Temple of Heaven). After a three-day stay, the students and chaperones traveled by train to the ENTEL Foreign Language School in Hangzhou. There they were hosted by and interacted with local families and took part in school activities including classes.

The last leg of the trip was a visit to Shanghai and tours of Old Town, Nanjing Road, and the Shanghai Museum as well as a boat cruise on the Huangpu River.

“The school trip to China provided me with the opportunity to broaden my cultural horizons,” said RFH senior Colin Courchesne. “It’s one thing to read about a foreign land in the news, but it’s another thing entirely to see it first-hand, to be given the chance to interact with and appreciate something completely  unique from our usual way of life.”

“As a learning experience it is unparalleled, and I highly recommend that anyone with the chance to take such a trip – whether to South America or Asia – capitalize on the opportunity as it is not something they are not likely to soon forget.” 

 RFH students traveling to China included sophomores Jessica Browne, Jenna Hawke, Nicholas Longo, Henry Manelski, Peter Maris, Camryn Pecyno, Lily Perrine, John Presti, Emma Singleton, and Christopher Steinhacker; juniors Katherine Amendola, Amanda Keighron, Julia Klem, Emily Oberlander, Avery Wall, and John Woods III; and seniors Sharon Brownstein, Colin Courchesne, Kevin Gallagher, Willis Manelski, Gabrielle Ramirez, and Isabelle Slavin.



Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Press Release Writer

mkampfe@rumsonfairhaven.org or 908-347-8885