Student travel is transformational, and we can prove it. A recent study by the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) gathered quantitative data from a representative sample of U.S. teachers for a reliable measurement of the social impact of domestic and international trips.
The findings tell us that the travel experience of students triggers a process of accelerated personal development, contributes to better academic performance and improves social interaction between young people.
Student travel provides practical learning about other cultures. The majority of teachers in this SYTA study organize student trips because they want their students to become more culturally aware. Even more, student travel is reported to be significantly more effective than computer-based learning and classroom instruction alone.
WHY TEACHERS ORGANIZE STUDENT TRAVEL
The range of reasons why teachers organize student trips almost always relates to students’ well-being and personal development. Teachers perceive travel as a remarkable opportunity for young people to get in touch with different cultures and communities outside of their usual environment, which is essential in today’s interconnected world. Student travel is practical as well, Travel organizers say class trips boost morale and aid group bonding.
TRAVEL TRANSFORMS STUDENTS
Research findings also tell us student travel prompts a transformation, through which students grow their ambitions to know, learn and explore. Respondents of all types confirm that students who travel are more motivated to seek further education, progress in their social competences and improvement of a wide array of abilities. Additionally, traveling students show improved intellectual motivation and curiosity as well as increased tolerance and respectfulness of other cultures.
Travel experiences stay with students for the rest of their lives. Do you remember that high school band trip to Disney World or your middle school choir trip to Six Flags? Educators agree that travel is contagious, and 60% noticed an increased desire for more travel experiences in the future.
The research shows that travel is not only a standard teaching resource, but is also significantly more effective than traditional forms of education. When asked about the relation to pursuing further studies, 37% of respondents claimed that travel is extremely effective in preparing students for college.
TRAVEL IMPACTS TEACHERS AND SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Students are not the only ones benefitting from school trips. For as many as 78% of teachers, satisfaction comes in the form of their students’ happiness. The survey shows that 29% receive no financial compensation at all. These factors demonstrate their motivation to organize school trips is altruistic in nature.
Source: Student & Youth Travel Digest: Part 1: Social Impact of Student Travel on Students and Teachers.
Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) is the nonprofit, professional trade association that promotes student and youth group travel. It seeks to foster integrity and professionalism among student and youth travel service providers. SYTA members play an important role in facilitating both domestic mobility and international incoming and outgoing mobility, worldwide. As the voice of student and youth travel, SYTA represents U.S., Canadian and international tour operators, group travel leaders, travel agencies, destinations and other student travel suppliers.