Why Some Learning Experiences Can Only Happen Outside the Classroom

Have you ever watched a couple of your students role play a “market scene” in Spanish and wished they were instead exchanging words with a vendor at La Boqueria in Barcelona?

Have you ever been telling your students an anecdote about Galileo’s experiments and wished you were doing so while standing at the foot of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or in front of a museum case displaying his actual instruments?

Have you ever instructed your students to read a chapter in their history books about World War II and thought about how much easier it would be for them to grasp this if only they were descending into the remains of a bunker on the D-Day beaches of Normandy?

If you have, you’re certainly not alone. Teachers the world over dream of the real-life experiences that will help their students not only learn, but more importantly remember, the classroom lessons they offer them every day.

You can teach your heart out in the front of your classroom, show slides and movies, read primary documents and direct your students to the most interesting research and reports. You can ditch the textbooks and the worksheets and read up on all the newest ways to teach a particular subject to the young people in your classroom. On some days, it can feel like even a song and dance wouldn’t be enough. 

Sometimes, you just need a little bit more.

Educational travel is that more. Practicing a foreign language in a real-life setting, standing in awe in front of the masterpieces of a world-class museum, walking on the grounds of a renowned historical site: doing rather than listening, seeing with their own eyes, transforming learning into a multi-sensory experience, making all those classroom lessons real. Those are the lessons of travel.

Perhaps you have travel experience of your own and know firsthand its life-changing effects. Perhaps you’re looking to offer your students a learning experience that will give them an edge at university and beyond. Perhaps you want to prepare them for going on to do bigger and better things. In any case, educational travel is inspiring. It’s a big step in the right direction.

But sometimes for teachers, that step does indeed feel too big. In that case, it’s important to remember two things:

1. The unparalleled experience that your students won’t be able to find in any classroom; and

2. A good student travel agency makes such endeavours easy.

So don’t shy away from taking your students abroad. Seek out a quality student tour provider, ask all your questions and get all your answers—and then some. And then get excited, because you’re about to become the teacher your students will always remember.     

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