My husband and I have known for years that travel is one of the best gifts we could give our children – after our time, that is. Our sons have been traveling since they were a mere six weeks old and have been to something like twice the number of countries as they have years under their belts. Travel has been an unparalleled education for our them.
But still, all my knowledge of the advantages of that travel came from my own perspective – from my own background as a long-time educator and short-time parent. Now, I’ve just spent some time researching the effects of travel on kids’ education, and was pretty much blown away – it confirmed everything I already knew.
Here are a few of the articles I’ve found – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Survey Confirms Travel Abroad at a Young Age Enhances Education, Career Growth and Success: A recent survey has confirmed that traveling overseas at a young age supports school performance, leads to successful careers and increases the likelihood of continued travel throughout one’s life.
Educational travel and the benefits to children: It’s easy to ignore or misunderstand other cultures if you never witness them with your own eyes. Traveling to countries with different cultural and religious ideas, different customs and even different food can be a hugely enriching experience. It can also help a child to become more tolerant and less fearful of people and situations that are different from what they are used to. It can be liberating for a child or young adult to experience different cultures and realize that their own culture is respected and admired by people in other countries.
Questions to Ask about Educational Travel: Graduates will need an understanding of other cultures and nations to succeed More people are seeing that travel is essential to a complete education. Parents, in a recent national survey, said that they saw improvement in their adolescent’s grades when they traveled. The hands-on, experiential learning that occurs through travel helps students fully understand and remember concepts, and travel opportunities motivate students to apply themselves in the classroom.
Student travel offers many educational benefits: There is no doubt that our young people need to be skilled in core subjects. But they also must be prepared for the increasingly complex world they will experience after graduation. It is a world that demands an understanding of other people and cultures; the ability to work in a team structure; and critical thinking, oral communication, and decision-making skills. Our students deserve an education that will not only provide skills in math and reading, but one that will equip them to meet the challenges of a demanding global society.
Academic Outcomes of Study Abroad: Students who study abroad have improved academic performance upon returning to their home campus, higher graduation rates, and improved knowledge of cultural practices and context compared to students in control groups. They’ve also found that studying abroad helps, rather than hinders, academic performance of at-risk students.
Nancy Sathre-Vogel is a long-time teacher who is currently cycling from Alaska to Argentina with her husband and twin sons. She is documenting their journey for Guinness World Records at www.familyonbikes.org and also writes for Examiner.com about roadschooling, international travel and bike touring throughout the world. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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