Overseas School Trips of a Lifetime – GCSE Citizenship
The importance of organising school trips abroad and providing opportunities for students to broaden their horizons and be exposed to different cultures, traditions and practices.
WHY DO I BOTHER?
I have organised many trips over my 15 years of teaching including; Switzerland, New York and Dubai! Finding the right destination, putting together the programme, managing sign ups and deposits, hosting a parents’ night and taking students through the airport: there are lots of stressful tasks involved in organizing an overseas trip for your students. So why bother? Is it worth all the time and effort you put in?
Today, schools are expanding their extracurricular programmes in the form of educational school trips abroad to facilitate the meeting of learning objectives for their students in addition to achieving the requirements of Ofsted. From my experience, students (and teachers!) participating in a school trip abroad not only have a fabulous and unique time during their trip, but also benefit from many other advantages for weeks indeed years after their return to “normal life”.
School trips abroad are far more than just a learning experience outside the classroom. There is a demand for schools to provide experiences with real meaning and purpose, and that bring many educational benefits. The true educational value of school trips is apparent when seeing the impact that they can have on students; individuals often acquire transferrable skills that can be taken into everyday life.
So yes, organizing a trip for your students is totally 100% worth it, not just for them, but also for you. For those moments when you feel like it’s all taking a bit too much of your time and effort, read on for the reasons why I organise a trip every year to Dubai!
THE VALUE OF SCHOOL TRIPS
The importance of school trips in giving students the chance to character build and develop their resilience, as well as grow in confidence and adapt to different social situations, is not to be underestimated. These are all skills I like to develop inside the citizenship classroom.
There is evidence that the knowledge and skills gained from such experiences simply cannot be taught inside the traditional classroom setting such as; Learning new languages; Making new friends; Better bonds between teachers and students; Students increased motivation; Expanding student’s worldview; Educational targets and prestige; CV building; Culinary experience; Having a mini-holiday and the experiences of a lifetime.
WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM BENEFITS ?
Challenging and rewarding school expeditions overseas have been shown to:
- Encourage students to bond with peers with whom they would not usually interact and develop their team building skills. When students are faced with a challenging situation where they must work together to achieve a common goal, they learn to communicate and connect with one another as a group. It also allows for students and teachers to build better relationships with one another.
- Help students expand their knowledge, better understand topics and retain information by learning in a real-life context. This method of learning can help students to be more engaged and maintain focus, allowing them to gain a greater understanding of what they are being taught.
- Enable individuals to develop a broader perspective of the wider world by being exposed to different environments and cultures, which influences them to develop their communication skills and learn to be respectful of diversity.
- Give students a focus and teach them to be self-motivated and driven in planning and preparing, for example, in terms of fundraising ahead of their trip. Students learn to forward plan, budget and make sacrifices through their fundraising ventures, with the opportunity to use their initiative, foster their creative abilities and become budding entrepreneurs. Through such endeavours, individuals become more independent and responsible.
- Provide students who have behavioural issues, or those who have not been performing well academically, the chance to excel by offering variety and different learning styles. Through this rewarding opportunity, students can grow in confidence by realising that they can achieve their full potential and teachers can be reassured by this.