Middle and high school years fall during a critical period of an adolescent’s development. As a teacher for these grade levels, you enter into a student’s life at a time when they are becoming more of an individual and are discovering their interests and their passions.
This is the age where it is essential for students to be exposed to new things, and to try out new activities and ideas. Giving your students the gift of travel during this key developmental period isn’t just about showing your students the world; it’s about providing a foundation for students to develop life skills. Below are just a few ways we believe global travel can promote personal growth.
Broadens your perspectives and worldview
Exposure to new countries and cultures diversifies your experiences and opens your mind to different ways of thinking. When you travel, the world no longer seems as big or as separated as you once may have thought. The experience and your memories can forever change the lens in which you view the world.
Pushes you outside of your comfort zone
Let’s admit it; trying something new is always a bit frightening. Now think about trying something new in a different city that you have never been to, or in a language that you don’t speak a word of. Being pushed outside of your comfort zone challenges you to find comfort in the uncomfortable, giving you the courage to continue to grow and develop.
Enables experiential learning
We believe that immersive learning is one of the best ways to learn. What better way to discover the history of the Revolutionary War than to stand on Old North Bridge or to follow the path of Paul Revere’s ride from Charlestown to Lexington? Experiential learning creates firsthand experiences, bringing to life what we’ve studied in a textbook and in a classroom.
Encourages self-reliance and self-confidence
It is easy to rely on familiarity. Your commute to work or to school is comfortable because you have probably done it hundreds of times before. When you are traveling to a new city, or country, you can find yourself having to get from point A to point B and nothing may feel familiar. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes when you realize you just successfully navigated a new metro line on your own, or when you walk away from a local restaurant with a lunch in your hand that you purchased from a man speaking a different language. It is when you overcome barriers and obstacles like these, that suddenly challenges at home no longer seem as difficult. You have built up your confidence; you know you can handle what is handed to you.
Think about the last idea that you had. Where did it come from? Did you see something new? Hear a new sound? See a new color? Chances are, yes, something new kick-started your creativity. The definition of creativity is “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.” Travel gives you the “new.” Travel gives you the inspiration and challenges you to run with your ideas.
Have you ever heard someone say that they have the travel bug? There is a thrill that comes with traveling that makes you want to see more; to do more. Maybe you went to San Francisco and saw the Golden Gate Bridge and walked along Pier 9, or maybe you found yourself in the Louvre, staring straight at the Mona Lisa. No, not a photograph copy, but THE Mona Lisa. It is during these moments you realize that not only are these individual experiences opportunities of a lifetime, but in every city, town, and country lies more of them, so why should you stop now?
You’ve taught your students about the world—now make the world their classroom. Take your students abroad and you can travel free!