There are endless reasons to travel: experiencing new cultures, exploring iconic sites, falling in love with foods you can’t pronounce. And, inspiring your students. (Yup, we’re talking about traveling with your students, not taking a break from them.) Educational travel —when a teacher like you helps a group of middle- or high-schoolers discover the world on a student-centric tour—has the power to make a positive impact on students and teachers alike. Take it from Callie R., a teacher from Apex, NC: “Many of my kids had never left the country, and I feel as though I’m bringing back children with so much more understanding of art, history, cultures, and how to be a global citizen.”
Still sold on solo travel? Here are seven reasons teachers and student travel go together like pizza and, well, everything:
1. Feel like a student again.
Minus the braces and questionable fashion choices. Travel is meant for curious explorers of all ages—and experiencing travel from the perspective of a student can change your perspective, too.
Or go global: Picture you and your students stopping at a Parisian café. For you, it’s a delicious and necessary pick-me-up. For a student, it’s a chance to try out their newfound independence as they order for themselves in a new language. Yeah, coffee is for caffeine and confidence boosts.
2. Bring your lessons to life.
Reading about the Gettysburg Address in school is interesting. Discussing the Gettysburg Address at the Lincoln Memorial is unforgettable. Travel adds a tangible element to your lessons (plus some pretty cool backdrops).
3. Spark curiosity.
Introducing your students to new sights, smells, and ways of life will inspire questions they didn’t even know they had:
“How did they build that?”
“Why don’t we do that back home?”
“What does this mean?”
“Who painted this?
“What language is that?”
“Where to next?”
“When are we having lunch?” (Okay, some questions are the same no matter where you are.)
4. See your students in a new light.
While discovering new places, you’ll discover more about your students’ unique interests and talents. The quiet kid in your homeroom? Life of the party in smaller groups. The class math whiz? An art history aficionado. And their teacher? The coolest ever. (But you already knew that.)
5. Get more bang for your bucket list.
When you travel using expertly designed itineraries, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the best each city has to offer. Choosing a partner like EF Educational Tours helps make sure you’ll see, do, explore, discover, and eat everything on your bucket list. Bonus: Teachers can travel for free! Enroll just six students on an EF tour to an international destination (10 if you’re traveling within North America), and your spot is covered. Plus, for every six or 10 additional travelers, you can bring a chaperone for free.
6. Learn in unexpected places.
Travel reminds us that learning can happen everywhere, and that’s exciting. From enjoying a Broadway play, to visiting the Berlin Wall, to sampling Bangkok street food —life-changing lessons wait around every corner.
7. Help inspire their futures.
Travel is a catalyst for change. Whether it jump-starts a career path, inspires a college major, or leads to studying abroad, one trip can open up a literal world of opportunities for your students. When you travel with your students, you help them learn more about themselves, the world, and their place in it. And that’s pretty incredible.