How could students not be excited by an educational excursion to Europe? Whether they are visiting Secretary-General of the European Schools Paris or Rome, the Black Forest or the Pyrenees, there is no doubt a sliver of excitement will thrill them at the thought of all they are about to see, do and experience.
While with the best excursion providers there is no chance of going astray, to get the absolute most out of this time in Europe it is best if students are prepared for the experience.
Education and fun
When young learners pack their bags and anxiously wait for the bus, train or plane, barely able to contain themselves as they think about the time away from the classroom, it’s easy to forget the educational side of school tours. If students are prepared to expect the right balance between learning and leisure, they will get the most benefit out of their trip. For example, if they are on the way to Rome they should be prepared to be as thrilled by the tour of ancient sites such as the Colosseum as they should by the idea of spending time in the centre of a bustling and beautiful metropolis with their peers.
Most students on school tours will be more than aware that striking cultural differences exist across Europe. But it can still be awkward and disconcerting at times for students to be surrounded by the French language in Strasbourg, by the aromas of strange spices in Madrid, or by the unfamiliar social etiquette and layout in Athen’s transport system. A small degree of cultural preparation to open students’ minds and eliminate cultural baggage can do wonders for enhancing their experience.
Outside the Tourist’s Comfort Zone
There is a significant difference between family holidays and school tours. This extends beyond the fact that students will be travelling with peers and teachers and not relatives. A holiday is taken for leisure and comfort while an excursion will demand students meet a degree of educational challenge. This may come in the form of performing music in Berlin, talking to business people in Frankfurt, or coordinating scientific group work on the Mediterranean coast. If students are ready to go beyond the touristic comfort zone, they will be able to throw themselves into their trip without hesitation.