Wednesday 15 Jan, 2014

3 Post Tour Cultural Immersion Activities

Bobby is a Principal with a background in History and Social Studies. He first traveled with EF Tours in 2010 to Rome and Paris, and now leads a student tour every summer. He believes that young people should experience life outside of their communities, and that understanding other cultures is imperative to solving global challenges.

You just traveled throughout Europe and had the trip of a lifetime. You learned flamenco dancing in Barcelona and cooked authentic Italian food in Rome. Now you’re back home. That’s it, right? Trip over, done. While the trip may be over, your experience is just beginning. The journey and adventure of an EF tour marks only the beginning of what can be a life-changing experience for many students. So how do you apply what you’ve learned on tour to the classroom and beyond? Here are three ways you can do just that:

Global Citizens

1. Join or start a foreign language club at your school.
Memorizing nouns and conjugating verbs can become repetitive, difficult, and let’s face it…boring. Your tour may have been just the jumpstart you were looking for to reinvigorate your interest in advancing your foreign language skills. Immerse yourself in different cultures and languages by organizing or joining a foreign language club at your school. Not only will this help polish up your college résumé but also help you quickly improve your foreign language skills.

2. Plan a cultural awareness day at your school.
You quickly learned that your trip was much more than checking out famous landmarks. The real beauty of international travel is being exposed to new cultures, exciting languages, exotic foods, and new people. And while you may not be able to bring your friends to Germany or England, you can certainly help bring a piece of those places to your friends. Team up with school administrators and plan a cultural awareness day at your school. Ask teachers and students with different cultural backgrounds to discuss their traditions. But don’t stop there. Do more than just talk about cultural differences, experience them! Invite local artists to teach foreign dance and music and ask nearby ethnic restaurants to prepare foods that students are unaccustomed to.

3. Start a travel blog and share your travel experiences.
After you’ve told your story about cruising the river Seine and watching the Eiffel Tower twinkle in the background to every friend and family member you have, expand your audience and share your story with the world. Starting a blog is easy and in most cases, free. Begin by recounting your own personal experiences. Develop your own writing style and find a unique theme that will set your blog apart from other travel blogs. Is your blog meant to be a cultural guide? A travel top ten list? Or will it contain fun and exciting tips you’ve learned from your own travels?

It is almost cliche to say that something can be “life-changing” or the “trip of a lifetime.” However, cliche becomes reality when traveling on tour. Returning home is only the beginning of your experience as a freshly minted world traveler and global citizen.