Recently, a group of 26 students, parents and teachers from Tucson International Academy traveled to France! Our mission was to use the “on site” experiences to prepare our students for our global society. Students enjoyed 8 days of sightseeing, discussion groups, projects, and group mealtime collaboration as they processed their studies of language, reading, culture, social studies, science, and math while physically immersed in a foreign country. These are all wonderful benefits of student travel but there is so much more as well.
When Touring Another Country, All of Your Senses are Ignited
In Paris, students had the thrill of going to the top of the Eiffel Tower where they saw beautiful panoramic views of Paris. We were all surprised to learn about and see a model of Mr. Eiffel’s office built into the top of the Eiffel Tower! What a dynamic place for an office! The famous Louvre art museum was another fascinating venture, beholding the Mona Lisa masterpiece and the Venus de Milo sculpture in person. What a wonderful experience, to stand in the elaborate halls of the Louvre among hundreds of other art appreciators. The history of Notre Dame came alive as the group walked through its artistic presentation of faith over the decades. We ate crepes, salami, cheese, snails and even frog legs! A real adventure for the pallet!
When touring another country, all of your senses are ignited, and one can receive the culture and historic relevance via sensory input…..seeing the incredible historic sights, hearing the distinct Parisian sounds of emergency vehicles, smelling and tasting new spices and flavors in the foods, plus touching the relics of ancient pasts. All the information collected through the senses enhances learning, conceptualization, and understanding. First hand experiences are the only way to get a complete sampling of real life data which can more dynamically be translated into the ability to apply learning at the highest levels.
What Does Student Tavel do for you?
Renewed enthusiasm for learning
When the kids return home with enthusiastic stories and pictures of an incredible time abroad, teachers and parents see the immediate impact the experience has had. However, the most significant and enduring effects may not be obvious until later, as the students tackle challenges with increased, enhanced confidence, greater enthusiasm and maturity in their approach to their studies, and demonstrate deeper sensitivity to other people.
After climbing the Eiffel Tower, walking on the beaches of Normandy on the D-day locations, or simply ordering lunch in the local language, students can’t help but grasp the fact that there is new possibility in the world, in their abilities, and in their future. In addition to gaining greater cultural sensitivity and an international perspective on their studies, students return home feeling more confident and independent—qualities that stay with them throughout their academic, professional and personal lives.
Higher academic achievement
When students travel with a group from Tucson International Academy, they’re not just learning about other places, cultures and languages, they’re living it. Whether learning about William the Conqueror through the stitching of the ancient tapestry at Beaueax or discussing ancient sewer systems of famous castles such as the Palace of Versailles, these hands-on experiences allow students to truly connect with their studies in new ways. International travels pique students’ intellectual curiosity, translating into increased academic success upon their return.
Stronger college applications
Because so many U.S. colleges appreciate the value of global awareness and now place an increased emphasis on international perspectives within their curricula, students with international experience have a competitive edge when applying to colleges. As a college preparation academy, it is important to offer opportunities that will enhance our students’ college applications to gain acceptance to outstanding institutions and university programs so students may have the best education to pursue the most interesting and rewarding careers.