The value of school trips in secondary and higher education

Not everything that students need to learn about life can be discovered sitting passively in the classroom. Travel broadens the mind, so make sure your teens and young adults experience as much of the world and other cultures as possible.

From Austria to Vietnam there's a big wide world waiting outside the classroom and with a bit of careful planning it can be incredibly helpful in bringing a variety of subjects to life. Even the most dedicated of students will feel his or her motivation lacking from time to time. A trip abroad can help to revive flagging spirits, bring relevance to a subject and motivate students to progress further in their studies.

Bring a foreign language to lifeTeachers have found all manner of ways to make learning a language fun, but actually being able to try out language skills on native speakers is one of the best ways of reinforcing learning. Repeating sentences to other classmates or teaching professionals will never hold the same magic as actually ordering from a menu, or requesting directions from a native speaker of the language.

School and college trips are available to a huge variety of destinations, from France to Asia, meaning that there are opportunities to try out budding skills in a host of languages. Students enjoy practising their new-found skills, gaining confidence from the experience and learning valuable aspects of foreign cultures into the bargain.

Science in the fieldThe sciences can seem dry and dusty subjects which are quickly and easily brought to life on trips abroad. Iceland is an exciting destination offering students the opportunity to witness geothermal power amongst lava fields, geysers and hot springs. Offering a huge range of natural phenomena such as glaciers and volcanoes, students can see for themselves the power that can be sourced from within a natural landscape.

Science parks throughout Europe and the US offer practical hands-on experience in a wide variety of experiments, allowing students to explore and discover the world in new and exciting ways. Budding astronauts can see inside a real space capsule and even theme parks can offer fantastic experiences that prove the laws of physics whilst being extremely good fun!

From Art to Urban Planning, there is no subject in the curriculum that does not benefit from being the subject of a school or college trip. Students find they have renewed enthusiasm for subjects which they have been encouraged to fully immerse themselves in and almost all students respond extremely favourably to the opportunities presented by foreign travel.

Whether you are the parent or teacher of students, it is worth approaching your school to discuss the possibility of arranging school excursions to enhance and progress learning. Moving to a new destination outside the classroom is always stimulating for pupils and, done correctly, can provide real practical benefits. Students gain confidence and self esteem from travel, with a greater understanding of other cultures.


Carolyn Wells writes regularly on a range of educational issues for a variety of websites and blogs. A former teacher before having young children, Carolyn is a great believer in travel as a way of broadening the mind, particularly for teenagers and young adults. Carolyn is grateful to for providing valuable reference material for this article.