At Latitude Group Travel, we love educational touring and other hands-on learning opportunities in all forms – domestic travel, international travel, incursions, excursions and more.
We’ve been involved in helping young learners expand their horizons for more than a decade. We’ve seen the benefits of individually crafted, curriculum-linked educational touring programs, packed with experiential learning opportunities. Most commonly, our clients report improved classroom engagement, stronger friendships and personal development as a direct outcome of our educational tours.
However, there are numerous other benefits of educational touring and travel that you may not have considered! Read on to find out more.
1. Educational travel helps students become active global citizens.
Gaining a global perspective, partly through educational tours and travel opportunities, is as important as ever for young people. School leaders found it particularly challenging to meet these objectives during the pandemic, but it was also an opportunity to think differently about how we do educational travel and touring – and to do it better.
Some of Australia’s leading schools and educators spent the period of travel restrictions reviewing their touring programs to ensure they are offering programs rich in meaning and integrity of experience and, most importantly, have genuine educational merit.
Ultimately, what we want is for students to be truly inspired, at a young age, to make meaningful contributions to systemic and permanent change – and hopefully continue their interest and involvement on into adulthood. This is all about leveraging educational travel to help students to understand what it really means to become an active global citizen.
- Related content: Why now is the time for schools to reimagine service-learning and voluntourism experiences
2. Enhance what is learned in the classroom with educational touring and travel.
An impactful school touring program should add significant value to the education and personal growth of each individual student, inspire a love of learning and create the desire for students to set a course for new career possibilities.
Our experience has demonstrated that an educational touring program that is aligned to the school’s educational strategy and culture has the potential to change students in boundless ways, creating aspirational thinking, leading to them setting clearer, stronger and higher goals.
3. School travel exposes students to real-world applications of subjects.
We believe, fundamentally, in the power of hands-on or experiential learning as the major way to engender true student learning outcomes from our tours. These activities are designed to open students’ eyes to real-world applications of the subjects they are learning in the classroom, to deepen their understanding and to create a space where they can interact with experts in their subject fields.
4. Build general capabilities and prepare students for life after school.
The general capabilities play a significant role in the Australian Curriculum in equipping young Australians to live and work successfully in the world beyond school. The right educational touring program, packed with experiential learning activities, is the perfect way to build these capabilities.
For example: Critical and Creative Thinking is a part of almost every experiential learning activity we offer on every educational tour. Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding are critical when travelling overseas, discovering different cultures. And Personal and Social Capability comes to the fore simply by the students travelling together and learning how to respect one another.
5. Educational travel and touring will enhance student understanding of the cross-curriculum priorities.
The three cross-curriculum priorities lend themselves particularly well to domestic and international travel:
- Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia comes to life not only on school trips to Asia, but also through domestic educational tours where Asia has been identified as part of the learning requirements.
- We include an experience related to Sustainability in all our educational tours.
- For Australian travel, we ensure every tour includes opportunities for students to foster a higher level of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture.
6. Students will gain valuable exposure to future career paths.
For many school students, educational travel presents a positive opportunity to connect subjects they are passionate about with the real world. For a small handful, it can also serve as a reality check.
In a recent article, we wrote about a Performing Arts student whowas focused on breaking into acting, probably more so than anyone else in the tour group. However, after a workshop that focused on the day-to-day realities of showbusiness, they decided that the realities of the business were far different to what they expected. They are now pursuing a different field of study instead.
7. Educational travel also benefits the broader school community.
A robust educational touring program can bring unexpected benefits to the whole school community, even in ways that were never part of the plan (at least, intentionally!)
We have one client who has been focused on creating service-learning programs that raise the bar on ethical community engagement and student learning outcomes. Our Community Learning Programs have helped them to commence programs of work that meet all these objectives. An additional bonus has been the formation of a long-term partnership with one African community in order to really make a difference. This is in sharp contrast to the tokenistic efforts associated with service-learning programs of the past.
The broader school community has rallied around this community – even those who haven’t participated directly in a tour. Regular fundraisers and other activities are bringing everyone together around a common cause.
How can we help?
Latitude Group Travel is Australia’s leading provider of school trips and educational tours for late primary and secondary school students. We’re committed to helping teachers and their students bring their classroom learnings to life by creating memorable and unique experiences. Our itineraries allow your group to take in iconic sights combined with as many classes, workshops, themed guided tours or subject related activities as you wish.