The How To Guide: Customize the Perfect School Trip
Customize short-term study abroad programs in Spain, Italy, France, the UK, China, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand (okay and breathe).
It’s good to be picky when it comes to customizing the perfect short-term study abroad program for your students. First up, you’ve got to choose the country – we run school trips in Asia and Europe – but there are so many choices after that. You can work off the tried-and-true itineraries you’ll find across our site, but they’re just a small sample of what your students could be doing. We’ll never (ever) present you with a trip that’s just a duplicate of the one we did last time. We’d rather stay a little late in the office and create an educational tour that’s completely tailored to everything you need.
Travel Dates & Duration
- Consider festival dates, big holidays and other conferences. If you want to avoid the crowds and cut your trip cost, avoid the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. If you’re wanting to get a cultural fix through celebrating the local holidays, visit France in June to experience the nationwide street party, La Fête de la Musique! It’s worth seeing if you can time your trip with subject-relevant events. For example, if you’re a Computer Science teacher, time a tech school trip to coincide with the Big Data Expo in Guiyang, China.
- Consider the duration of the trip. Obviously, this will heavily affect the price. If you’re thinking about shortening your program, make sure that it’s cost-effective but also a long enough program to fulfil all the learning objectives you’ve set.
- Consider peak season and non-peak season. When the cherry blossoms are out in Japan, it’s pretty heavenly. And *most* of you would prefer France during the summer instead of the winter. But remember that peak season is going to be more expensive, and going in non-peak season won’t limit the experiential learning and cultural experiences for your students! Here’s a great guide on travelling off-peak.
Location, Location, Location
- Weigh up the pros and cons of starting at different locations. Maybe you want to recover from the jet-lag at a smaller, more relaxed city like Cuenca, the ‘Enchanted City’ famous in Spain for its hanging houses. Perhaps you want to start with a rural area, like a tribal village in Vietnam, before progressing up to Hội An in order to fully appreciate the different standards of living. Or even start with a big hub, like Shanghai, to ease students into the culture shock.
TOP TIP: If you come across a study abroad trip provider that isn’t delighted to customize your school trip for you, be wary. Read our blog post if you’d like to find out how to pick the perfect company to run your study abroad programs.
- Hostels are the cheapest accommodation to go for, and it’s perfect for teachers who love to backpack and want to show their students the authentic side to a country. Bathrooms are shared, but we do always book entire dorm rooms, so no one will be sharing sleeping space with the general public. Plus, hostels are a great way to develop social skills in a communal environment.
- A 4-star hotel is, well, a 4-star hotel. If the budget allows, go for it!
- And then there’s the happy medium: the modest and humble, overlooked 3-star hotel. A lot of schools go for this option – it fits within most budgets. Also, it’s comfortable, and why go any fancier when our trips will have you busy throughout the day?
- We can include no meals, some meals or all meals.
- Pre-planned breakfast can be convenient and easily arranged at the hotel. It’s usually a buffet-style mix of continental breakfast and whatever the local cuisine is.
- Some student groups like the freedom of choosing where they want to eat and how much to spend.
- A popular option is allowing students the freedom of choosing their own meals with The Learning Adventure arranging only welcome and farewell group dinners featuring local specialties.
- Private coach is more expensive but saves on time. It’s definitely worth considering if you’re a group of 20 or more. An extra bonus is that you’re likely to be able to leave your belongings on the bus while you’re off exploring!
- If you’d rather your students live like the locals, opt for public transport. It’s cheaper and it teaches good navigation, time management and personal responsibility skills.
Focus of Activities
- Some courses call for a purely cultural itinerary, full of sight-seeing and performances. Other programs require a subject focus, like Music, which call for activities that relate to the curriculum. Most students prefer a bit of both, a splash of sight-seeing with a bunch of interactive learning experiences that uncover the true culture of a country at the same time.
- It’s best to consider the activity levels of your students. If you’re bringing a group under 13 years old, hiking up Mount Asahidake probably isn’t a great fit. But if you’re a sports team looking to improve your skills and make friends on the other side of the world (the Rugby Tour in Japan is the one for you) or to try out something new (the China Martial Arts Trip is awesome), then go for an itinerary packed with action.
- Let’s be honest, even the most committed of us need a break from info-heavy museums once in a while. That’s why we love utilizing worksheets, activities or games during our site visits. It’s also a good idea to sprinkle in some cooking classes or group discussions throughout the day.
Do we sound like we know what we’re talking about? (The right answer is yes. Yes we do.) Take the legwork out of it – you be on the ideas, we can do all the organizing, fine-tuning and complicated planning. Let us customize the perfect study abroad trip for you school/university to ensure you get the very best out of your program. Check out our study abroad programs here, email us email@example.com or message us on the chat box!