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The value of taking students abroad to continue their education outside the classroom cannot be over-stated. This is the reason senior class trips remain so popular, with many new destinations opening up every year.

Itineraries are becoming more adventurous, as educators, often well-travelled themselves, seek to challenge their students’ perceptions and encourage them to connect with the world in different ways.

The best trips complement and expand upon the topics the students are learning about in class, and many tour companies will now tailor their packages to the exact requirements of the group for precisely this reason.

Party leaders can turn to a company for support in every aspect of organizing the tour, from risk assessments to flight advice, it’s a service that can be just as valuable for old-hands as well as first-timers.

Education, education, education
Why did the people of Pompeii not escape in time when Vesuvius erupted? How much does the Eiffel Tower weigh? Who built the Terracotta Army? What did Gladiators like to eat? You could find the answers in textbooks or online of course, but there’s no better way than to visit the places themselves. Educational travel brings words and images to life better than any book or screen.

With the help of their tour company, educators can link workbooks and study courses to the itinerary, utilizing the activities on offer in their destination to strengthen their students’ understanding of what they’re seeing.

Culture Vultures
First-hand experience of a foreign country will enhance more than just a student’s knowledge. Whether the group is studying food technology in Normandy, classical civilizations in Turkey, frescoes in Florence or turtle breeding patterns in Costa Rica, by immersing themselves in a new culture the students’ confidence and natural curiosity will be sharpened. Opportunities to explore new customs and languages are ever-present, even if it’s just a case of trying a traditional delicacy from a street stall, or picking up a bit of the local lingo. Tanoshinde!

Performance Enhancers
Be seen AND heard! With so many venues, events and festivals all over the world, there is unlimited scope for Performance groups to showcase their talent to enthusiastic audiences. Marching bands will love taking part in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, or getting into the Mardi Gras spirit in New Orleans, while Disney offers a range of fantastic workshops to help dance troupes and bands perfect their routines. Theatre groups are well-served in New York, where they can take part in senior class trips to develop their acting craft, learn make-up, scene direction and even stage-fighting , before taking in a show on Broadway.

As the buzz from the 2012 London Olympics starts to fade, the big question is what will be their legacy? Many young people have limited scope for sporting activities close to home, and those that are lucky enough to have facilities nearby will often find they are in high demand.

One way of inspiring students to take up a sport is to introduce them to it during an overseas trip. In resorts such as the Costa Brava or the French Alps you will find a wide range of sports such as sailing, kayaking, wind-surfing, and mountain-biking which can all be sampled during a week-long stay. If these aren’t enough to get the old adrenaline pumping, many centers will also offer white-water rafting, high rope courses and rock-climbing.

Team sports can be practiced all over the world, from Europe to the Bahamas, to Dubai.  World-class facilities, training and matches with local teams are available for groups playing football, netball, rugby, and hockey, and can easily be combined with stadium visits or theme parks.

Biog: Maria has been working in the school travel industry for years and has attended inspection visits as well as organizing tours all over the world.