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6 Ways to Prepare Students for an Upcoming Trip

6 Ways to Prepare Students for an Upcoming Trip

Mar 27, 2019|K12 and YouthTraveler Resources| by Jordyn Kalman

For every educator planning a big trip for their students, it is vital to prepare your students for the exciting journey ahead of them in order to make sure they get the most out of their travel experience. Here are a couple easy steps educators can take in order to fully prepare students and their families for their big adventure.

Organizational Preparation

One of the most important parts of this whole process is making sure your students are organized from the very beginning. Give each attendee a folder for them to keep all important paperwork, informational flyers, or documents their parents need to sign to ensure no one loses anything, misses an important deadline, or can’t go on the trip. You can even make a spreadsheet with every important date in order to help them remember specific deadlines.

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Logistical Preparation

Host monthly or bi-weekly parent meetings to discuss passport requirements, visas, luggage, and other information as well as answer any questions that might arise from parents before the trip departs. This will help you avoid getting dozens of emails asking the same question, confusion, or miscommunications and will help the trip run more smoothly.  Plus, keeping the parents informed will help ease their minds while their child is in another country.

In addition, you might host a meeting with the in-country guide to talk about the initial meeting time and place, equipment or clothing necessary for activities, language barriers and foreign etiquette, and in-country transportation for the parents and kids to give them an idea of what to expect upon their arrival and what to pack.

 Public Domain

Academic Preparation

A very important aspect of preparing students for an academic trip is making sure they have good background knowledge of the country they are visiting before arriving. Have your students study specific aspects of the country, like archeology, geology, history, or biology through research assignments and in-class lessons. Providing a reading list filled with fictional and non-fiction books about your destination will also help them further their understanding of the culture of the country by completing a book report. This way they can see what they learned about in-person.

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Skills Preparation

Whether your trip focuses on a specific skill set or not, it is always a good idea to have students engage in and practice their real-world skills. Everyone could benefit from knowing how to take better photos, say a couple phrases from a foreign language, read a map and compass, identify species using a field guide, use lab equipment and tools, and perform CPR no matter what journey you are going on. Host meetings after school for students to practice these skills in order to help them succeed in applying them on the trip. Practice makes perfect, so helping students practice these skills will ensure that they will get the best results and will be more confident in their abilities than before. 

 Fotolia

Social Preparation

It might be hard to remember, children and teenagers have a tendency to be cliquey and only want to be with their friends. In order to strengthen the group dynamic and break down those barriers, it’s important to allow time for everybody to get to know each other. Organize ice-breaker activities for everyone to do as a group to build comradery and friendship before the trip. You can play games like “2 truths and a lie,” Find 10 things in common, “Whodunit,” human rock paper scissors, and “would you rather” to help everyone feel more comfortable with each other.

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Fun Activities

It’s a good idea to plan fun activities for the students to get them excited about the trip. Host a pre-departure party with music and food from the country you will be visiting, traditional games, and other fun activities for every student. Another option is to host a movie night with a movie either filmed in that country, takes place in that country, or relates to the theme of your trip and have students bring snacks, pillows and blankets. Think outside of the box by hosting a fashion show where students can dress up in traditional fashion of your destination and walk down a runway with parents in the audience to give both groups a better idea of the native culture.

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