Things you need to know to run a school trip abroad
School trips give students a fantastic chance to learn and become more independent. Two key points for a trip are firstly what interested parties (students, SMTs and parents) will take away from the experience and secdondly possible problems that might be encountered.
As a trip co-ordinator you will want to ensure the trip is suitable for your students. Specialist suppliers can help schools ‘tailor-make’ a trip, and cover important areas such as risk assessments, emergency plans, insurance policies and a pre-trip inspection visit.
Once the trip has started, using a local, responsible chaperone can reduce stress levels and put you at your ease by dealing with the logistics so you can relax, enjoy the trip and spend that vital bonding time with your students.
Students and educators sometimes disagree on what constitutes a successful school trip. An experienced tour trip provider can help bridge that gap using their knowledge to design the programme that satisfies all bases. A successful trip is usually one where students can spend enough time with friends and enjoy exciting activities and day trips, but also pushes them in the tour’s main educational goals. A great trip must always be a positive influence on children by inspiring them to further study and personal-development after the trip.
Parents’ likely concerns will be safety, educational value and price. Popular destinations like Disneyland Paris or Barcelona are great fun but they aren’t necessarily suitable for a school trip. Disney will not offer an immersive and interesting cultural setting for language learning. Barcelona is a large and expensive city, and the need to take the metro means it is complicated to guarantee the safety of a school group. Perhaps most importantly, these locations are so popular that the students will likely visit them at some point in their lives anyway. For an unforgettable and invaluable school trip, look for an experience your students won’t have had before, market your idea to the parents, and see the permission slips flood back in!
Inge Hol is the Director of Education and one of the owners of Spark Spanish (spanishschooltours.com) who run bespoke school trips in Spain.