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Enhancing Education: The Impact of Travel on Student Development

13th November 2023 Print

Educational school trips for students have long offered amazing opportunities for students and young people to take their learning outside of the classroom, expand their horizons, and consider new contexts, challenges, cultures, and beliefs.

Recent research from educational experts has taken this understanding of the benefits to another level, and suggested that there could be positive impacts on the development of students who are given a chance to travel. 

We took a closer look at some of these benefits, as well as the ways in which students can be given the chance to explore the wider world and learn through the wonder of travel.

What Benefits Can Travel Offer To Student Development?

As we mentioned, there are a host of benefits that students can enjoy from travelling, and these include:

- Exposure To Other Cultures and Customs

Undoubtedly, one of the most significant advantages that travel can offer students is the chance to experience new cultures and customs, many of which may be far outside their standard frame of reference.

Travel to a new country and society offers the chance to gain a new insight into the ways of the world, the cultures, and people who live in it, and the ways in which things can be totally different on another part of the planet. 

For many children and young people, the world around them is limited to their own city, nation and culture - they get used to doing things a certain way, seeing certain things on a regular basis, and even enjoying a familiar sort of food. 

Travel, however, can blow this out of the water, offering a chance to see things through a new lens, gain an understanding of global issues, and build appreciation for the diversity of our planet.

- A Chance To Take On More Responsibility

Travelling in a location where you don’t speak the language, follow the culture, use the money, or understand the lingo requires resilience and strength, as well as the ability to rely on yourself and be more independent. These are skills that are extremely valuable to becoming a well-rounded person. 

Some students feel anxious and intimidated when travelling to a new place, particularly if they are fairly new to travel in general. However, as they face the challenges associated with travelling and become more familiar with their surroundings, they will start to gain more confidence in themselves.

In addition, travelling forces students to confront situations and problems that they may not have encountered before, requiring them to use their skills of problem-solving and decision-making in order to cope. This can be an invaluable experience for young people, as it will help them develop the ability to think on their feet and find creative solutions.

- Access To The Bigger Global Picture

Great numbers of young people are familiar with their own city, country, culture… and that’s about it. When travelling, however, students get to see the wider world and how it fits together as a whole. This helps them gain an understanding of global issues and builds their appreciation for the diversity of our planet.

Travelling can also give students the chance to gain an insight into global politics and situations that may not be covered in the classroom. This can be an incredibly enriching experience, as it allows them to see how different countries, cultures, and economies fit together on a more intimate level.

How To Enhance Your Students’ Travel

You may be wondering how you can help your students make the most of their travels and gain the above-mentioned benefits. Here are some tips to get you started:

- Allow Them Some Independence

One of the best ways to enhance the experience that your students enjoy while travelling is to give them as much autonomy as possible. Put them in charge of planning an itinerary and picking out spots to see, as well as coming up with basic ideas for travelling from place to place. 

With older students, you can even give them some power and autonomy over the budget - this is a great way to help them build their confidence and develop essential skills.

- Offer Language Classes

The benefits of learning a language are well documented, and this can be a great way to add another layer of immersion to any trip. Basic phrases and sentences can go a long way - and may lead to a lifelong love of learning a language!

- Offer Volunteer Opportunities

Combine travel and exploration with a chance to do some real good through volunteer programs. This not only gives students a chance to experience a brand new culture, but it can also be a great way to raise awareness of issues, develop compassion, and build problem solving skills - all while ensuring that you are giving back to the place you visited. 

This can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and will help your students develop empathy and become more engaged citizens of the world. 

Final Thoughts

Travel is amazing for broadening the mind and giving students a chance to gain valuable life experience. With the right opportunities, students have a chance to gain confidence, build relationships, and understand the wider world – all while discovering more about this incredible planet that we all call home.