Each semester, Mrs. Ferlauto brings her Global Issue students on a field trip to the United Nations headquarters in New York City. This October, her class took to the Big Apple to tour this historically significant building.
Upon their arrival, the students split into groups and met their tour guides. Each tour guide introduced themselves to their individual groups, speaking about their specific jobs at the UN and the country they are from. Students were led into art galleries, where they looked at different art pieces related to the history of the UN and learned about the art’s origin and what each represented.
The groups also saw a mural depicting the fighting during World War II, which was the time period that the United Nations was established, and the tour guides explained the historical importance of the mural and its meaning. They also explained the different positions and responsibilities of employees at the UN. Students on the trip learned that there are five countries on the sitting panels at a time, and these rotating countries have the opportunity to bring up important issues during UN meetings.
I spoke to Michael Rizzolo, a student in the class, to learn more about his personal experience and opinion on the field trip. “I really enjoyed the trip to UN and I learned a lot about how international countries work together to maintain peace around the world,” Rizzolo told me. “My favorite part of the trip was seeing the meeting room where countries discuss significant world issues. When we visited, there was a meeting already in session and it was an amazing experience to be able to see so many different people in one room doing important things to help the lives of other civilians.”
When asked if he would want to return the United Nations headquarters, Rizzolo responded, “I would definitely return to see more of the items from each country that were available in the gift shop and to view any new artwork they include in their exhibits.” Senior Michael Rizzolo also mentioned how inspiring the United Nations was for him. After visiting their headquarters, he was able to see how invested members of the UN were to keeping international peace, for they didn’t allow their language barriers prevent them from communicating with each other about peacekeeping.
School field trips offer students an important opportunity to add measurable depth to their education, learning things first hand, rather than in a classroom setting. The Global Issues’ class trip to the UN headquarters in New York helped reinforce the information students learned in class about peacemaking and the United Nations’ position in the international affairs.