While most of us can agree on the importance and value of a good education, not all of us take the time to consider just how much more meaningful education becomes when coupled with experience: for experience is what happens when the four walls of the classroom are removed and the world is opened up to us.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.St. Augustine
Students can explore, engage, and learn to express themselves better when they are exposed to travel and are given the opportunity to network with other individuals from other cultures and social backgrounds. Through these types of experiences, students can learn cooperation, how to overcome challenges, and how to globally connect with others in a positive way.
Travel brings to life the stories of our childhood, the text in books, and sheds new light and perspective on the lessons being taught in the classroom. The people and places being read about suddenly become real and connect with the student in a way that will inspire them and have a lasting impact. Few other experiences are as powerful and influential for a young person.
According to Wyse Travel Confederation and a new study that focuses on “the impact of learning focused travel on academic performance and career growth,” 85% of adults whom traveled in their youth report that the overall experience was fun, engaging, and inspiring. Their travel deepened their understanding of the world and expanded their career opportunities. The study also reveals that those who traveled in their youth went on to attain a college degree or successfully complete post-graduate work, compared to their cohorts who did not.
A practical experience
While attending high school, our son had the opportunity to travel with his classmates to Costa Rica. This would be his first international trip without his family. Naturally, we were a little nervous and excited for him as he prepared to participate in this experience. I wondered what this adventure would be for him and if there would be any type of a lasting impact. In the days leading up to his adventure, I was impressed with his willingness to work extra hours at his after school job to help cover the expense of his journey, which demonstrated to me an increased level of responsibility and commitment to work towards a desired goal.
It only took two days into his trip before the excited texts and reports began coming home, showing us a glimpse of the immensely positive experience he was having as he connected with the people and culture surrounding him. He shared stories with us of endless coffee fields, the quiet peace he felt in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and fascinating facts he discovered about the overall biodiversity of the region, including tasting local cuisine like “chicken of the trees” and plantains-foods that he had never experienced eating before. He also got to practice speaking in Spanish (a second language for him) and through this experience came home and committed himself to studying and developing his Spanish speaking skills on a greater level.
It is through similar experiences and opportunities like this that learning becomes three dimensional for the student and not just memorized text off a page. The experiences are real and inspire and encourage them to more actively engage and participate on the global stage of life as a confident individual who likely has a stronger appreciation and connection to who they are and where they come from.
So, what are you waiting for?
Change a life, book a trip, and let the journey begin!