School leaders in Muskegon Heights are always looking for ways students can learn outside the classroom. However most of the opportunities the district can afford to offer are still very close to home.

Despite that, students taking French at the Muskegon Heights Academy set their sights on an international trip.

This one to Canada to visit Montreal and Quebec.

If fundraising efforts are successful 40-students and a few chaperones will fly from Detroit this April. The trip will be an opportunity to put their new language to the test.

"Because they are excited we are going to capitalize on that," said Rane Garcia, Muskegon Heights Superintendent.

A trip like the one the students are working towards is a big deal for the school district.

It's exactly the kind of external opportunity the district would like to offer more often.
"It is important for our kids to be able to get out into the broader Muskegon community," said Garcia. "To get beyond even Michigan."

Each student will have to raise $1,700.

The idea was hatched early this school year when students started asking French teacher Amanda Leigh to take them to France.

"As a first year teacher I said 'no,'" said Leigh. Adding she'd be willing to "try and figure out how to get them to French Canada instead."

For most of the class it will be their first time outside of the country, and first time flying in an airplane.

"I got to get myself ready for that one," said student Enirey McBride. "That is new."

"You need to to experience life, and culture, and that helps build hope and dreams," said Garcia.

Students are looking for community scholarships that might apply to study trips, and created an on-line account where community members can donate.

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