Here at EF Academy New York, we value learning in many different settings. Whether the form of learning be inside a classroom or visiting the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, learning can happen anywhere! One of the most unique experiences EF Academy offers to our students are the excursions abroad during Spring Break. This year, a group of students visited the country of Belize, led by biology teacher and Head of Science, Mr. Stephen Fleming. There, in Belize, our students researched and explored the country’s rich environmental ecosystems and got to experience the coral reefs in person. Below is an excerpt from one of our students who attended the Belize trip explaining her experience and her favorite part of the trip:
“I arrived to Belize not knowing how to snorkel and being afraid of the idea of swimming in the ocean, but I came back with new friends and a fruitful experience. Not only did my understanding of science increase, but I also gained knowledge about the culture, history and threats facing coral reefs today.
The best part of the journey was the night dive. I saw firsthand how the coral reef ecosystem, which I had grown accustomed to seeing during the daytime, changed at night. We ventured to the ocean one evening and watched the sunset as we waited for the night to come. The red-orange horizon, accompanied by local dolphins jumping in the distance – this perfect scenery created a truly unforgettable moment.
Before each dive during our trip, our guide, Dr. Kenneth would have a meeting with the group explaining the nature of the dive location. Then in groups, we jumped into the dark ocean with only a lantern to light up our way. Underwater every one of my movements looked like shinny glitter floating in the ocean. I quickly realized that it wasn’t me that was shining, it was the bioluminescence of the tiny phytoplankton in the water around us. Even though it was dark, that night was the brightest night I had ever experienced and a night that I will never forget.”
Written by: Sandra Martínez Díaz, former student at EF Academy New York.