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The first question I’m asked whenever I open my favorite subject; which is, of course, traveling; is, "What does it mean to travel while educating yourself?" My answer varies from person to person. There’s no clear definition of educational travel in the end. It would be too hard to define such a broad experience of emotions, thoughts, spirituality, and communication. It would be restrictive and pretentious. I like to always leave room for improvisation.
So, I reply, “Well, what do you think educational travel is?” The answers I get are quite interesting. Some people desire to gain intrinsic knowledge of the places they travel to by taking complex tours of museums, historical places, ruins, etc. Others are more interested in finding out about a country’s values and codes of conduct. An answer I never expected was, “I believe educational travel is similar to food tasting; isn’t it? I mean, the things you can find out about a culture by tasting their food!”
Perspectives differ, as well as characters. If for you, educational travel means creating new friendships with locals, this is exactly what you should do. If on the other side, you are excited to learn about a city’s culture and a country’s history, that is perfectly natural as well. Don’t put a tag on educational travel. In the end, it’s precisely what you want it to be.
1. Why to Do It
Why do you explore this world? Why would you save money to buy a ticket to a gorgeous city? Why would you immerse in a new culture? Why would you like to learn a new language? The answers are, as I mentioned previously, utterly related to your personality and intentions. However, these statistics will blow your mind.
ACIS surveyed 930 former ACIS travelers to see how their experiences abroad as young adults influenced their lives and educational choices. The educational tour company wanted to test whether or not educational travel can pave the way for future careers. They found out the following:
- 67% of students who traveled aboard continued to study a foreign language in college.
- 73% of ACIS travelers say they speak one foreign language fairly well compared with 18% of the American population.
- 81% of those that traveled in middle school or high school continued their studies at the college level compared to the national average of 68%.
- 57% of respondents were motivated to study abroad during college.
- 37% of travelers who went on to college said their travel experience influenced their field of study.
- 24% report that their job requires communicating with coworkers or clients outside of the US.
- 65% have traveled overseas again since their ACIS trip.
- 94% felt more independent after their trip.
- 78% saw an increase in their problem-solving skills.
- 92% noted improvement in their interpersonal skills.
Nevertheless, educational travel changes lives and broadens horizons. The main reasons for engaging in this activity are:
- Building the foundation that will later allow you to succeed in an increasingly globalized society
- “Turning on” the spike of an unmotivated student (we all felt like this, don’t worry!)
- Getting the chance to become an active and reflective learner and draw on daily experiences to expand and deepen what you’ve learned in formal studies—in the end, practice makes perfect
- Learning to compare how global issues are approached in another setting/environment
- Practicing a language and getting insight into a new culture
- Engaging in life-altering experiences that might change your fundamental assumptions of this world
- Learning to be independent and self-sufficient, to thrive in a different country, and to become resourceful when resources are not obvious or available
- Experiencing hands-on learning opportunities
In a Nutshell
To travel freely, you must get out of your comfort zone and learn to communicate. You will have to converse with people you haven’t even considered conversing with before, make compromises, and be brave. You will need to learn how to live independently. You will soon become savvy and more understanding with the people around you. Your horizons will expand only by talking to people and hearing them out.
2. How to Do It
One of the best ways to travel on educational purposes is by applying for a study abroad program at your school. If that doesn’t seem attractive to you, there are various companies around the world which organize educational tours. Here are some of the most popular:
EF College Study Tours
One of the most exciting facts about booking an EF college study tour is that you get your own coordinator! The person in charge of you will provide you with the foundation of an outstanding experience. Together, the two of you will set your personal goals and make plans to ensure that your experience abroad fits your needs.
This company started a long time ago (in 1973). They organize tours for both small and large groups. They offer discounts to undergraduate and graduate students while ensuring that your needs are met and that everything runs smoothly.
The reason I recommend this company is its complexity. Explorica does not only provide you with travel plans, but they also offer professional guides and flight plus hotel advice. They are also open to beat any price on the market, so if you find a similar offer at another company, they will price match!
The customized faculty-led study abroad program at AIFS is a great chance to get out of your comfort zone while staying safe. The company assigns a well-prepared program coordinator to provide support for any of your needs. They also offer social and cultural opportunities for enthusiastic students.
Adventure Student Travel (AST)
I like AST because it provides students with many destinations to choose from. They do not offer a personalized coordinator, but you can always reach out to your university and have them help you out.
ACIS is another educational tour program, mostly designed for American students. The great thing about ACIS is that you can apply for travel scholarships. Each year, ACIS offers a total of eight ACIS scholarships toward the program of your choice. Another interesting opportunity to travel abroad for free is their Photo and Video Contest. You win, you travel at no cost!
3. Supporting Yourself Financially
If one of your biggest concerns against taking this step forward is money, then you are in the right place. We thought it’d be helpful to give you some advice on how to support yourself financially while abroad, especially when you don’t speak the language. There are many remote jobs that you can apply for; here are just some of the results we’ve come up with after performing extensive research on the topic.
Being a Nanny with Au Pair
Here’s what you must do. Pick the country you’d like to travel to. Find a family independently or through an agency. Before committing, make sure you get all the details on the place and number of kids you’ll be babysitting. Apply for a visa if you need one and start packing!
P.S. Don’t forget to bring your host family a nice, small gift.
Working on a Farm with WWOOF
With WWOOF, you have plenty of opportunities to choose from when you go, from Argentina to Peru, Romania, or Korea. In the end, working on a farm is quite exciting in any country, isn’t it? After you take this critical decision, apply for a VISA and contact the hosts. Your insurance, travel expenses, and accommodation en route are not included in the package.
Another great opportunity to earn money while traveling is teaching English. The following programs are the best options for American students:
Working at a Hostel
Traveling and working in a hostel is the best combination ever! These two activities go hand in hand, but don’t get your hopes up before applying. Because this is such a great opportunity, not many people actually get to work in a hostel.
The main job requirements are being a social, friendly, open, and lighthearted person. More than that, you must stand out! When you apply, tell your interviewer everything that’s cool about yourself; don’t hold anything back.
One of the most popular job options while traveling, freelancing can be quite amusing. Being a digital nomad has its perks. Check out these companies from essay writing services or college essays online industry that hires quickly and surely far from the office:
- Best Dissertation: This writing service is professional and offers high-paid jobs. Who would say no to writing on a sandy beach in Ibiza while having a cocktail and waiting for the money to enter your account?
- Essay Writing Lab: Providing quality papers is this assignment writing service’s primary focus, so you’ll want to be well documented and serious if applying for this job.
- Brill Assignment: One of the best term paper writing services on the market, Brill Assignment is designed for students whose grades are dropping and whose time is limited. Since traveling can be performed whilst performing another remote activity, this is your best chance to learn well and fulfill your dreams, both at the same time.
- College Papers: From our findings, working for College Papers comes with perks freelancers would never expect. Check out their website to find out more.
- Essay Writing Land: working for this cheap writing service will help you gain writing experience so that you’ll nail those school assignments.
UK CareersBooster, ResumesPlanet, CareersBooster: The services for resume writing assisting, when you master the secrets of successful resume—in future, you can boost your career without any difficulties.
It’s recap time!
So, we’ve presented you with excellent reasons, great motivation, and awesome opportunities to explore educational travel. Let us remind you of what you’ll come back with if deciding to travel abroad:
- Brand-new language skills that will enhance your CV and provide further career opportunities
- New perspectives on the world that might challenge the way you think and act
- New social skills that will help you out in any job position you’ll apply for
- Independence—must I add something here?
- A better understanding of yourself
- An open mind achieved through compassion and empathy
- Highly interesting historical and cultural information
When you decide to move out of your comfort zone, things start to change. You are no longer the person you thought you were. You are no longer afraid. You are brave, spontaneous, and open. Your horizons broaden, and your mind unlocks to all the new possibilities coming your way. So, explore, feel, love, connect, travel!