Educational Benefits of Student Immersion in the Developing World
Educators and trip leaders are faced with important decisions when designing and implementing a global travel program. Everything from cost and duration to educational goals and objectives can dictate the choice of destinations. While Europe offers comfort and convenience the developing world provides educational benefits unparalleled to the rest of the world. Here are a few reasons why…
- Student Immersion – Immersion looks completely different from Paris to Hanoi, from London to Accra, and the impact on the students is radically different as well. From rural homestays to authentic, community supported service programs, student immersion in the developing world impacts students more deeply than any first world country ever could. As students address relevant global issues effecting local communities the educational outcomes can be profound as students apply what they they’ve learned inside and outside of the classroom and in their home communities.
- Mutually Beneficial – Well-designed travel programs and partnerships with developing world communities benefit both the students and the local residents. This in turn can impact the world through the cumulative effect of action and good will. With engaging curricula, inspirational peer-to-peer interaction, and authentic service programs, schools can transform the lives of their students and their partner communities abroad.
- Pushing Comfort Zones – There is no better way to challenge preconceived notions, foster grit and determination, and inspire teamwork and cooperation than through an educational adventure in the developing world. Requiring students to communicate in their second language, navigate local transportation, and experience day-to-day life as a local, builds confidence and the independence necessary for life beyond high school.
- Humility and Appreciation – Many students today are fortunate to have everything they want or need right at their fingertips. From tablets to smart phones to everyday luxuries, the youth of today live in a new, more distracted world. When students travel to the developing world they have the opportunity to unplug and interact with unique people and cultures that are happy and thrive on far less. This is often an eye-opening revelation for western students that fosters mindfulness and compassion.