ECHS Exploring Other Cultures with EF Tours

Emmy Russ

Exploring Other Cultures with EF Tours

Emmy Russ

10th Grade

BC Early College High School


Imagine visiting the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, hiking on a glacier in Iceland, partaking in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or learning how to Samba in Rio. All of these amazing experiences (and more) are experiences Brunswick County students have had through EF Tours. 

EF, or Education First, tours are opportunities for a student to travel to foreign places and get a glimpse of other cultures. Early College students have been on a number of these tours, the most recent being trips to Italy and Greece in June, and Australia and New Zealand this past July.

Mrs. Leah Perkins Brown, a math teacher at ECHS, organizes the trips for our school, and said that the purpose of the tours is to “expose students to other cultures and give them a more global perspective.” The activities on these trips vary by location, but students experience a wide range of activities, such as visiting historic sites, exploring the outdoors, and spending time appreciating and learning about the cultures of other countries.  

The students who went to Italy and Greece this past summer were happy to talk about it, and raved about the amazing time they had. One of the students had a plethora of pictures documenting the trip, and Tori Neal, an eleventh grader at Brunswick County Early College High School, said that “They have a lot of culture and very unique scenery.”

The upcoming trips that the school is participating in are a trip to Japan in 2023, and another to Iceland in 2024. When asked why he wanted to go to Iceland, Taylor Sipe, a Junior at Brunswick County Early College, said, “I want to see the Northern Lights and experience the culture there.”

Many students pay for these trips by making monthly payments that they can pay for with part time jobs, so that the overall cost is more manageable. If a student is concerned about the costs of the trips, there is an opportunity, called the Global Citizen Scholarship, that is offered through EF Tours. Students simply have to fill out an online application and submit a video in response to the prompt they are given. Mrs. Brown had a former student from Duplin County that won the scholarship. The scholarship covers $1,000 dollars of the cost of the trip, and anyone can enter.