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Enriched by learning

It is truly a special thing when students can be in a classroom that literally travels to another continent, country and culture. It provides an immersive learning experience like no other.

I was able to be part of such an experience in 2002 when I went to England for two weeks to study about the Industrial Revolution along with a few other students as part of a class we were taking at Paul D. Camp Community College.

Recently, Cumberland County High School rising senior Preston Sutton enjoyed and benefited from a similar experience, but through different means. He was one of nine students in the United States selected out of 9,000 applicants to join the U.S. Youth Ambassador Exchange Program and travel to Brazil for a three-week trip in May.

The program is part of international nonprofit World Learning, which establishes exchange programs for students and adults to learn about other cultures and apply what they learned to their own countries.

Having a three-week stay in Brazil definitely allowed Sutton to fulfill this purpose, and though he and I traveled to significantly different places, I could still relate strongly to some of the general details he shared of his trip.

Cultural differences jumped out to us both, and we both had difficulties with the language barrier. Sutton was dealing with Portuguese, and even though the hosts in England, of course, spoke the same language as me and my classmates, we found there were enough differences in terminology and usage to create confusion at times.

Both Sutton and I visited several sites related to the main purpose of our trip, got to sightsee and bonded with our fellow ambassadors/classmates.

And we both returned home enriched by a remarkable learning experience.