This last summer a group of TIA students, teachers, and parents traveled to Japan and Australia. They enjoyed 10 days of sightseeing and immersed themselves in the languages and cultures of two completely different foreign countries.
All of Your Senses Are Alive
Seeing the incredible historic sites in Tokyo and Sydney, hearing the unfamiliar sounds while wandering the streets or traveling on the subway, smelling and tasting new spices and flavors in the foods, interacting with the local people, all help to enhance one’s understanding of other cultures. First-hand experiences are the only way to get an authentic sampling of life in a foreign country.
After seeing Mt Fuji, visiting beautiful Sensi-ji Temple, hand feeding owls in a Japanese cafe, seeing whales breach around the boats in Australian waters, feeding kangaroos in a wildlife park, or simply ordering lunch in the local language, students can’t help but feel confident in their new-found abilities. They gain a greater perspective of the world, become more culturally sensitive, and return home feeling more independent — qualities that stay with them throughout their lives.
Student Travel to New Places Gives Confidence and Enthusiasm for Learning
When the students return home with enthusiastic stories and pictures of an incredible time abroad, teachers and parents see the immediate impact of the experience. However, the most significant and enduring effects may not be obvious until later, as the students tackle challenges in their studies with greater enthusiasm, increased confidence, and maturity. They also tend to demonstrate deeper sensitivity to other people and an ability to work with a variety of people.
Global Awareness and College Applications
Students with international travel experience can have a competitive edge when applying to some colleges and may even apply to study in a foreign country. Many colleges value and appreciate global awareness and have an increased emphasis on international studies. It is important at TIA to offer opportunities that enhance our students’ lives and also their college prospects.
Whether they’ve been friends for years or get to know someone because of the trip they took together, students who travel with a group can develop lasting friendships with their fellow travelers. This makes for special connections that can last a lifetime.