europekid

Rocky Face resident Max Brown, left, poses at the Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, England, with a period character. Brown participated in a program that assists students in traveling overseas and learning about other cultures.

Eleven-year-old Max Brown recently returned from a trip to Europe where he visited the Louvre and the home of William Shakespeare.

A resident of Rocky Face and a sixth-grader at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, he was selected to participate in the People to People Program, which assists students in traveling overseas and learning about other cultures.

“I had a really good time,” said Brown. “It was for two weeks, and I went to two different countries.”

Brown got settled in Paris, toured for a week, and then took a ferry across the English Channel to London.

“The ferry was really fancy,” he said. “We spent the night on it and woke up in England.”

While in France, Brown visited such famous sites as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, one of the world’s most famous art museums.

“The Louvre was really big,” he said. “We walked through it, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures of the art.”

Brown’s favorite Parisian attraction was EuroDisney.

“It was really cool,” he said. “It’s smaller than Disney World in Florida. They have four parks down there. In France, they only have Magic Kingdom, but they still have all the famous rides like the teacups.”

While in England, Brown learned about the British Parliament and had his picture taken with the famous Queen’s Guard.

“A member of Parliament talked to us,” he said. “I think he was part of the House of Lords.”

Brown said he enjoyed going to the London Eye, the world’s largest observation Ferris wheel, and taking pictures of the view.

“They said the London Eye wouldn’t be open too much longer. But you get to see lots of London from that view,” he said.

He also brought back a small piece of history from England.

“We visited Shakespeare’s house,” he said. “I bought seeds from the flowers in his garden. It was really cool to see where he lived.”

People to People was founded by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 as a way to promote world peace and understanding between students. Eisenhower received help from Bob Hope, Jesse Owens and Walt Disney in developing the program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer.

To be accepted into the program, students have to be recommended or selected based on test scores.

“Max got a letter in the fall that said he was accepted to the program,” said Kim Brown, his mother. “We went to several meetings and decided to allow him to attend.”

Brown had to ask teachers for letters of recommendation and undergo an interview.

“Max was required to submit three recommendations,” said Kim Brown. “He also got his first interview under his belt with this program.”

Before leaving for Europe, Brown learned about what to expect from the different cultures and how to conduct himself abroad.

“We learned what they do over there,” he said. “When we got there, we met lots of different people from different countries. It was cool to visit a different part of the world.”

Brown says for his next trip, he may consider bringing his parents along.

“I think I might bring my mom with me next time I go to Europe,” he said. “I can be the tour guide for when we go to France and England.”

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