Many students look forward to going on school trips abroad at the end of the year. Whether it’s about student educational tours, volunteering, or summer camp experience, international trips are fun, memorable, and fun events for students who are privileged enough to attend them.
Even though both students and their team leaders can easily get carried away by the anticipation of visiting new places, various health and safety tips should be considered to guarantee a successful trip. It’s worth noting that organizing a school trip abroad can be a daunting task. However, the following tips can ease the process.
Pick your Target Destination Carefully
The school travel organizers should pick their preferred destination early in advance. The location you choose should be ideal for your students regardless of their age. Many people choose to travel to Europe during the spring or summer because the weather is more conducive then. There are various exciting countries in Europe which you may want to visit but Switzerland is indeed a must visit the country. Regardless of the location you settle for, ensure that it’s serene, self-contained, and safe for your team. Further, you want to ensure there are lots of fun and exciting things to engage in at least to keep your students engaged.
Travel by Bus or Coach
If you are taking a school trip to Switzerland, a bus or coach would be the ideal transportation method. Switzerland lies in the central region of Europe and there are many coach lines which traverse from and to the city. Many of the companies have upgraded their fleet to include modern buses to enhance comfort and convenience during your trip.
With the many service providers in the Switzerland market, you are guaranteed to find a deal that meets your needs. Buses are a perfect option of going for a school trip as it gives you an opportunity to keep your students in one place. Still, you can use the bus for the entire trip which means you don’t have to struggle with moving with your heavy luggage from one location to the other.
If your school travel involves channel crossing you can opt for the Eurotunnel where your students don’t have to get out of the coach during the crossing. What’s more, it’s way faster compared to the ferry. Of course, the ferry can offer a fun experience but you don’t want to expose your students to potential risks.
If you have difficulties deciding, you can go one way through the ferry and the other through the Eurotunnel. That way, you can figure out your preferred method for your subsequent trips.
Take Shorter Trips where Necessary
Traveling during the day is not only exciting, but it’s also a cheaper way of discovering new places, marveling at nature. However, they can be taxing especially if you are traveling for long hours. In order to make your students more comfortable and encourage them to enjoy the ride, you may want to ask them to carry pillows.
If you are traveling with younger students, consider making the trip as short as possible. You can have an interactive discussion with the students about the environment, flora, and fauna. Students can even try to identify things they have read in class along the way. This will make an otherwise long trip quite short and exciting.
Have a Framework for the Trip
Every school trip including recreational themed ones presents an opportunity for your students to learn. As the team leader, you need to leverage on that fact to enhance your classwork. One way of achieving this is by incorporating principal learning targets in advance for your specific subject accordingly.
Lay down objectives that your students should accomplish by the end of the trip such as learning new tasks, mastering certain words of a new language, identifying historic sites and gathering sufficient information about the same, engaging in an adventurous activity, and overcoming a certain fear. With these objectives, your students will have a good understanding of what they are expected to do, and leverage the school travel opportunity to improve their learning.
Get Parental Consent
Some parents may not be open to the idea of allowing their children to be gone from home for long. You not only need to convince them that their children will be safe, but you also want to explain the travel budget to them and let them know how the money they pay will be spent, and how the trip will benefit their children.
Getting parental consent will go a long way in guaranteeing a successful trip. You will also avoid major concerns by: sharing comprehensive trip information with the parents such as: the travel service provider, emergency procedures in place, kit list and itinerary, organizing a trip meeting for the parents where you can respond to their major concerns, and informing them about the personal and learning goals of the trip.
What Should You Pack for your School Trip Abroad
Packing for a school trip abroad can be challenging. If you are preparing your child for an international trip, these tips can be of help.
Regardless of your destination of choice and the time of the year, you can’t go wrong with packing for all weather and potential weather fluctuations. Remember, many Europe tours happen during spring and summer and one way of remaining warm of cool in layering.
During summer in Europe for instance, you may want to pack a sun hat, sunglasses, comfortable t-shirt, and skirts or shorts for your child. Remember to include a cotton shawl, scarf, or light jumper for use either in the evenings when temperatures drop, or when the children are in air-conditioned facilities.
They can also use these items like a shield against the sun. you can easily remove or pile layers to get your preferred temperature. The idea of layering is also applicable when children are traveling during the winter season.
· Essential Toiletries
Apart from the customary personal toiletries such as deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, and contact lenses, consider buying essential items depending on the weather in your target location. If it’s a school trip to Switzerland, you may want to purchase sunscreen and aftersun lotion for your child. Insect repellent will also be ideal if your child will be in an insect-infested location. Other must-have essentials include moisturizer and lip balm.
· Avoid Buying New Clothes
When students are going on a school trip abroad, they will be overly excited and will want to buy new clothes. Going for a trip abroad can be a taxing idea and your child can’t afford to be stuck in uncomfortable clothes. You want to ensure their clothes are not only presentable but also fit well. Often, this applies to footwear especially because students will do lots of walking during the trip. For this reason, new shoes may not be ideal.
Will Students from Going on a School Trip Abroad?
Yes. Allowing your child to attend a school trip abroad comes with numerous advantages as seen below.
· Bolsters Leadership skills
When you give your children a chance to explore foreign culture, they are able to broaden their ideas in terms of interacting with new students and making friends, making food choices on their own, and figuring out how to accomplish their basic needs.
This goes a long way in developing confidence and encourages them to accept more leadership responsibilities. Further, they develop their own sense of conviction and can differentiate between right and wrong without relying on other people’s opinions.
· Enjoy and Appreciate the Outdoors
One of the most popular activities for school trips abroad is camping. A school trip is hardly complete without it. Camping gives students and their supervisors an opportunity to marvel at nature and enjoy extraordinary scenic views. Without getting distracted by electronic devices, students can immerse themselves in discovering the sounds and sights of nature and get wowed at its beauty.
In the process, they understand the importance of caring for nature as well as get ideas on how to go about it. According to studies, being outdoors is one way of enhancing overall health. What’s more, being in a relaxing place where you don’t have to worry about homework and studies can be rejuvenating for the students and their teachers too.
Camping also keeps students physically active and this plays a major role in enhancing their overall health. Another benefit of going to summer camp for students is: they get exposed to scientific ideas.
Remember, science is present in nature and involves telling the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous plants, learning about the different tree, animal, and plant species, going fishing, and even learning about the stars.
· Exposure to New Languages
School trips abroad present students with a great opportunity to learn a new language or even master a language they probably have been struggling with in real time. You don’t necessarily have to be a language student to learn a new language. Teachers too can participate in learning some of the basic phrases of a new language. This promotes student interaction and helps them enjoy the trip more.
There are numerous benefits of school trips as we have seen above. Parents should allow their children to attend at least one school trip abroad if they can afford it. Not only do the students enjoy, but they also get to make new friends and diversify their knowledge.