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Why does student travel matter? Here’s what thousands of teachers say

by | Feb 15, 2019 | Featured

“My kids were completely transformed by this experience.” “Life-changing.” “I can’t wait to do it again.” These are just a few anecdotes from students, educators, and parents— they highlight the transformative journey student travel provides.

“My kids were completely transformed by this experience.” “Life-changing.” “I can’t wait to do it again.” These are just a few anecdotes from students, educators, and parents— they highlight the transformative journey student travel provides.

EF Educational Tours* and the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA)** have both conducted a study on the impact of student travel, surveying thousands of educators and teachers. So now, let’s take a look at the research backing up the importance of educational travel.

Student travel fosters empathy and acceptance of others

Most teachers say they organize school trips to broaden their students’ horizons. “In the current globalized world, travel also represents a vital learning experience for students, and not simply a luxury”. The ability to collaborate with diverse people and to show empathy are more important than ever, and our tours help foster both. In fact, 74% of students show increased tolerance towards different people and cultures after travelling.

Student travel has a profound effect on students’ lives

With the right tour provider, educational travel is more than dots on a map, pictures snapped, and museum visits. The value of an educational tour isn’t always spelled out in the itinerary—sometimes it comes from the people our travellers meet, the things they experience for the first time, or the challenges they overcome. But the confidence and independence they gain is universal: 68% of students who travel with EF say their tour changed their lives forever.

Teachers believe in educational tours because they give students the opportunity to develop competencies like critical thinking, collaboration, and character education in the perfect settings. They partner with us to help travellers become effective communicators, reflective thinkers, lifelong learners, and responsible global citizens.

Student travel boosts performance and engagement with the curriculum

It’s no secret that making subjects relevant to students and reaching all types of learners are two of the biggest challenges in the modern classroom. According to SYTA, an educational tour has a “profound and instant effect […] on the performance of young people”. In fact, over 60% of teachers surveyed think that student travel “triggers a transformation, as a part of which students develop higher ambitions to know, learn and explore”.

What it means for today’s classrooms

With globalization, more and more people are recognizing the key role travel is playing in students’ success. The workforce is rapidly transforming, and learners are demanding an education that is “more connected and relevant to their everyday lives. *** Curriculums are focusing on skills, competencies and global citizenship. Teachers are evolving into inspirers and mentors as they strive to expand their students’ knowledge of the world, of themselves, and of their place in the world. Experiential learning is gaining traction—and it’s making educational tours more relevant than ever.

Learn more about how EF can support you in planning a tour, or take our quiz to find the perfect experience for you and your students.

*. EF Education First. Reading, writing and… travel? National Teacher survey
reveals today’s education challenges and trends.
**. Student & Youth Travel Association. Student & Youth Travel Digest : A
comprehensive survey of the student travel market.
***. Ontario Ministry of Education. 21st Century Competencies: Foundation
Document for Discussion.