This is Part 1 of my soon-to-be 4 part series on traveling abroad with students. I went to Italy with 5 students in 2014 and to Spain with 11 students, 2 parents, and a teacher-friend in 2015. Both experiences were absolutely amazing and I want to encourage many more teachers to go abroad with students! You don't have to be a foreign language teacher - one of the other teachers I traveled with in Italy was an art teacher. Also, I don't even speak Italian, so you don't have to go to a country whose language you already speak.
1. It's awesome!It's awesome for you, AND for the students and parents that come with you. Traveling abroad is quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many students and their parents. It will give students the chance to experience other cultures and see how people live in other countries. It will open their eyes up to the world beyond their small town or the small part of their city!
2. It's amazing!It's an amazing experience for your students. They will NEVER forget it. They will have a blast, they will learn a lot, and it will be the highlight of their high school experience. They will write about it in their college essay and talk about it for decades. Decades!
3. It's easy!It's actually really easy to put together. I'm serious. My next blog post is going to go through all the details of how to put everything together, but this is not like taking on another prep, and there is minimal planning of the whole trip. There are people who are paid to make this as seamless as possible for you and they are good at their jobs.
4. It's free!You can go for FREE. As in, you don't pay! And now you're thinking "What?! You should have started with that!" Yeah I probably should have. You will travel for free as long as you can get 6 paying students and/or parents to sign up. And if you get 12, then you can bring your teacher friend, your non-teacher friend, your mom, your sister, your neighbor, the highest bidder... for free. That's right. You can set up an arm-wrestling tournament with everyone who considers you their friend and take the strongest person you know. You just have to pay for lunch every day and whatever souvenirs you want to buy. So you basically get a week-long trip (or 10-day trip if you're smart like me) for like $200. YEAH.
Are you sold on this whole traveling-abroad-with-students thing? My next blog post will go through the planning process for a trip abroad with students. Please comment if you've already traveled abroad with students and can think of any more reasons why more teachers should take students abroad!
Part 2 "How to Plan for Taking Students Abroad" is HERE
Part 3 "What to Plan for When Taking Students Abroad" is HERE