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Preparing for School Trips Abroad

July 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

School trips abroad are typically eagerly anticipated by students - particularly if they are built around a theme they're interested in such as sports or performing arts. Yet some tour leaders approach them with a little apprehension given the responsibility involved. Here are a few things worth thinking about in advance.

Preparation and organisation

People with experience of overseas school trips will know that organisation and a planned itinerary are critically important to the enjoyment of participating students and the benefits they obtain from the trip. This also applies to the peace of mind of the adults accompanying the tour. Drifting through a continental visit and taking things 'as they come' may be something that works well for some adults, but with younger students it can be a recipe for problems.

Younger students can become quickly bored and distracted if they're not kept fully and productively occupied, so that's why it might be advisable to consider organised school trips based around activities that constitute a particular interest for the students concerned. Examples include football, hockey or netball (plus many others) tours of places such as Italy, Malta, Spain and France. It's also possible to take such trips built around drama and dance, to great centres of culture such as Berlin, Paris or Prague.

If younger students are engaged in professional coaching in something that interests them, the challenges associated with keeping them occupied and engaged will diminish.

On-site

Keeping students occupied but safe when on a trip is a constant challenge. They need to explore as part of broadening their cultural horizons and experience levels, but, inevitably, this can be a concern for some tour leaders. An advantage of school trips run to an organised itinerary constructed by people with local knowledge, is that they will be able to suggest visits and exploration opportunities to sites and locations that are known to be suitable for younger people. Of course, the ultimate responsibility for the safety of the students in their care must rest with the tour leader or leaders, however, a pre-set itinerary based upon expertise and knowledge of the local area may reduce the risks of mistakes being made and incidents arising.

Why abroad?

In practice, many of the above concerns apply equally to trips in the UK as to other European countries. Excellent sports or arts tours exist in the UK though, of course, the weather can't always be guaranteed! Even so, when visiting areas of the UK on school expeditions, attaching the same degree of importance to a formally structured and organised trip may be required in order to keep students occupied and safe.

Conclusion

Taking a group of young people away from their home and natural environment is always going to be a little nerve-racking for the responsible parties concerned.

But professionally constructed school trips will ensure the experience runs more smoothly for all concerned.

Aiden Armstrong works for Pavilion Tours, a specialist travel service for schools, colleges and youth groups offering school trips with a focus on sports, adventure, performing arts and geography. Pavilion Tours offer both local and international tours covering a variety of programmes.

Source: EzineArticles
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