Although the majority of formal learning has traditionally taken place in a classroom, modern educational methods recognize the benefits of expanding these horizons. Consequently, the concept of field trips, and the social and academic opportunities they offer, will probably be familiar to those with children from kindergarten through to high-school age.
Now the possibilities (and benefits) of education delivered in a different location and context are becoming increasingly popular at university level too, with undergraduate educational tours offering students opportunities for social, personal and academic growth.
What Are Educational Tours?
In a nutshell, the term ‘educational tour’ describes a short-term (generally less than a month), teacher-led programme, where undergraduate students visit another country and take part in various planned education-focused activities designed to challenge, engage and stretch them.
The programme content and approach will differ depending on the major of the students involved, as what would be perfect for drama students would (probably) not be of much interest or use to those studying engineering. However, the key components and benefits of undergraduate educational tours remain consistent, with both offering both challenges and rewards.
The Benefits of Joining a Tour
There are various rewards available to students who choose to sign up for a tour like this, including those which are generally classified under the ‘social and personal’ umbrella.
The advantages of experiencing a new culture, especially one with unfamiliar language, food and customs, are enormous, as are the opportunities for developing both self-confidence and communication skills as relationships with new people are formed and nurtured.
How Can These Educational Tours Help Improve Grades?
Alongside the social advantages of this kind of tour, there are also some more tangible benefits to taking this time away from undergraduate studies and hectic timetables – primarily the academic boost they offer. So how does that happen?
Firstly, bear in mind that a quality educational group tour provider will customize your trip to suit the students’ backgrounds and subjects. In turn, this makes every experience meaningful and relevant and increases a student’s drive to succeed. Networking with potential employers and imagining the future possibilities for themselves can be a great motivation to do well academically.
Another way which this kind of tour can improve academic performance is due to the deeper contextual understanding of the processes, procedures, and practical tasks studied until now in the classroom. Hands-on experience in a natural setting is beneficial to learning, especially for those who tend to take more in when engaged in the practical task rather than learning from passive sources such as textbooks or lectures.
The benefits of joining an educational tour while an undergraduate seem to be clear, with improved post-trip academic effort and probably increased self-confidence making it a worthwhile thing to do.