By Tathiana Mota
The post-covid era has changed the world faster than anything else in centuries. Education has been facing such a challenging time that would leave Plato’s hair standing on end. The gap between the skills kids learn at school and the skills they actually need in this evolving world, is massive. Experiential learning is a dynamic pathway to equip your child with invaluable skills for the ever-evolving future.
Educational tours offer an overdose of knowledge in a short span that no traditional classroom can beat. Theoretical concepts students have read about transform into tangible reality. Outside of the classroom boundaries, the content is not in front of you. It is everywhere, in the smells of mysterious scents, the taste of exotic foods, the symphonies of distinct languages, the multiple shades of colour, points-of-view, values and lifestyles. A rich cornucopia of learning experiences that go way beyond the classroom curriculum.
Drawing from my personal experiences as a student abroad and over a decade spent assisting students in their educational endeavours across the globe, I have identified the 5 most invaluable life lessons one can acquire during such journeys.
Students have no choice but stepping out of their comfort zones and learning to adapt to unfamiliar environments. By taking calculated risks they cultivate grit to overcome any obstacles they face, whether they are as straightforward as orienting themselves in a new city or as complex as overcoming language barrier and cultural shock.
Being away from parents and the family environment provides students with opportunities to make decisions on their own and take responsibility for their actions. For example, they develop financial literacy by budgeting their expenses, become safety-smart by being aware of their surroundings and must regulate their sleep and wake schedules independently.
“Overall, the tour was an incredible and unforgettable experience. It allowed me to learn so much more about how the world works, and the ins and outs of different businesses. I would definitely do it all again if I could.”
Student – Queensland Academies Creative Industries, USA Business & Design Technology Tour
Engaging with diverse communities and people during education tours helps students gain a better understanding of the challenges and experiences of others, fostering a sense of compassion and empathy. In practical terms, this can lead to reduction of bullying in classrooms due to a more inclusive mindset that allows kids to develop meaningful relationships with others.
Students learn how to appreciate and respect cultural differences and develop the skills to communicate and collaborate across cultures. As a result, they will understand their role in a broader world context and how they can contribute to the well-being of local and global communities.
“The Sri Lanka tour was unforgettable, and the memories I have taken from the tour will stay with me forever. It was an enjoyable and somewhat life-changing experience and has helped me to be more appreciative and grateful in life.”
Student – Iona College, Sri Lanka Tour
As they connect with the world in meaningful ways, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, discovering their own passions, interests, and potential. This process is a powerful outcome of educational travel, as it encourages students to not only explore the world but also to understand themselves better and cultivate a sense of purpose that extends far beyond the duration of the tour.
When I think about my first experience abroad, I can’t help but reflect on how profoundly it transformed me. It was a turning point where I started to cultivate adaptability, sharpen my critical thinking skills, and become more adept at solving complex problems, all of which went beyond the limitations of my traditional classroom education.
In addition, the sense of cosmopolitanism that I embraced during my educational journey has continued to empower me throughout my adult life, giving me the confidence to tackle the challenges of living in multiple cities and countries. This perspective also serves as a driving force, inspiring me to organise unforgettable educational tours and create lasting, enriching experiences for students.