Whangarei students will be trading the beaches of Northland for the ruins of Athens these school holidays as they set off on a classical studies high school trip.
Nine Whangarei Boys' High School students, seven Kamo High School students and six accompanying teachers and parents are setting off next Thursday to see iconic sites of Ancient Greece and Rome.
The classicists will be visiting Athens, Delphi, Rome, Naples and more.
Connor Cooke is a Year 13 student at Whangarei Boys' High School and said he is looking forward to seeing the ruins in Athens.
Connor said the students began fundraising a year ago, with countless raffles, sausage sizzles and chocolate bars being sold to help pay for the trip.
Aaron Kearney is an English and classical studies teacher and ex-student at Whangarei Boys' High School.
The trip will be his first experience with overseas travel, and he said he can't believe he will be seeing the monuments that he has studied for many years.
"To see everything in the flesh is always better. I feel like there is almost a religious awe that comes over you," said Mr Kearney.
He said it is important to have seen the sites of ruins in the flesh to be an effective teacher.
"I've told the boys that I will come back with plenty of photos to show them," he said.
Head of classical studies Scott Crawford said having Mr Kearney and another teacher who are both former students of his own along for the trip makes it even more special.
"This is a great opportunity for our students, many of whom are keen classicists," said Mr Crawford.