You could be forgiven that letting your kid go on a field trip overseas will do nothing more than give them a good time where they can hang out with their friends away from the confines of school and home, but you’d be wrong.
If an overseas field trip is properly planned, not only will your child have a fantastic time in a new exotic location, but they will also learn more about themselves, increase their knowledge and get their first real taste of independence. Not convinced?
Check out these very real benefits of overseas field trips:
Learn a New Language
Whether your kids already take language classes at school, or not, when they go on a field trip to a non-English speaking country, there are lots of opportunities for them to learn and practice their language skills, and because they will be surrounded by native speakers, it will push them to really work hard and do their best to communicate. It can really boost their grades which is what many parents go so far as to take out online secured loans to send their children abroad. If you want your kids to experience different languages and cultures, signing that permission slip might be one of the best things you do for them while they’re under your care.
Get a Cultural Education
Teaching your kids about other cultures and ways of life will help them to be more intelligent, accepting and tolerant individuals, but there’s only so much you can teach them from books and the internet. By letting them see a country for themselves when they will be part of it if only for a brief time, you can give them a real understanding of different modes of life.
Meeting New People
Kids tend to travel in packs. They make friends at kindergarten, and barring a few falling outs along the way, they tend to stick to the same crowd until they leave to college. Although there is nothing wrong with this, it doesn’t exactly set them up for college, when they will be forced to mingle with new people and make new friends. If they can do this in another country where the language and customs are different, they should have no problem doing the same when they get to college.
Bonds Teachers and Students
Another great thing about kids spending time overseas with is that they get to spend more time with their teachers, doing new things that don’t involve homework, pop quizzes and less than inspiring lectures. This can help teachers build a stronger connection with kids, which may just motivate them to participate more in class and really listen to what their teachers say when they are back at school.
Although it is necessary to learn a language using books, tapes and verbal exercises in the classroom, there is no reason why it has to be boring all the time, and preparing for a trip overseas can be just the motivation that some students need to invest in the process. It might just improve their grades too.
Expand their Worldview
Wherever you live in the world, there is a danger of thinking that your country’s way is the only way, and even in a civilized country like the United States, this can be a bad thing. It limits your children and gives them a` narrow view of what is and isn’t possible. By seeing the world, with the guidance of their teachers, they can expand their worldview to encompass all kinds of wonderful things they might not have been exposed to at home, so even if they live their whole lives in their country of birth, they will be able to draw influence and interest from around the globe. This will make them better, more creative, well-rounded people.
Boost their CV
If your kid can show that they have participated in events outside the curriculum, including study abroad, special field trips, volunteering and participating in clubs, they will be much more appealing to colleges and workplaces when the time comes for them to fly the nest and make their own way in the world. In today’s very competitive world, you need to do anything you can to give your kid’s an edge over the competition, and a study trip overseas is just one of the tools in your arsenal.
Tickle their Taste Buds
Here in the West, more and more of our children are living on a daily diet of fast foods soda and chips. It is contributing to an obesity epidemic that could cause them so many problems in the future, that we all need to do what we can to encourage healthy eating. Sending your kids on a field trip overseas, where they will experience new foods and new ways of eating can only help to encourage this.
Taking a Break
Although you are likely more interested in the academic and character building benefits of a trip overseas for your kids, there is nothing wrong with letting them have some fun and sending them on an overseas field trip is one of the most controlled ways of doing this. Sure, they’ll be away from school, and they’ll spend some time seeing the sights and goofing around, but their teachers will ensure that they’re learning and that things don’t get too out of hand. The fact that you trust them and you want them to be happy and have some time away from their busy schedules will also help them to appreciate you more and let them know you care.
I know there has been some controversy about whether overseas field trips are safe or educational, but you shouldn’t pay too much attention to the scare stories and do something you will regret towards your kids. The average overseas trip is worthwhile. A level of independence and respect for other cultures is acquired and also a clear understanding of how the world is around us. Balancing the pros and cons will help establish a clear view of whether or not the kids are ready. Think it through!