Whether you are seven or twenty-seven, everybody will find a lot of enjoyment and life-changing experience in traveling. Nothing pushes your limits and throws you out of the comfort zone better than ending up in a foreign country where you have no close contacts, especially when you don’t speak the local language.
Regardless of age or background, traveling has a lot of advantages. For example, recent studies of the Student and Youth Travel Association proved the importance of encouraging students to travel abroad. In their two-year-long research, they questioned around 1,500 US teachers, 130 student leaders, and 580 tour operators to figure out how traveling influences children and older students. The results were incredible. On average, about 70% of educators recognized that traveling had a powerful impact on increasing students’ cultural awareness, building their confidence and self-esteem, as well as enhancing their academic performance.
Why traveling has a so powerful impact on students’ learning and progress? Let’s find out!
It Teaches Students to Troubleshoot
No matter how well you are prepared for traveling, there is always a chance that something can go wrong. The air company may lose your luggage, the flight may be delayed, or your hotel room will be next to a married couple with a constantly crying child. And even if it goes smooth and easy, arriving in a foreign territory is always a stress. Traveling is fraught with challenges, period.
Whether it’s retrieving your suitcases or just asking a receptionist to wake you up in the morning in a broken foreign language, students learn to overcome obstacles and solve problems that always come with traveling. Pushed out of their comfort zones, they elevate their confidence, learn to be independent, and develop a completely new mindset that can be applied to their studies as well. Traveling students are usually better at keeping their heads cool when it comes to completing difficult and complicated assignments, they don’t hesitate to ask for help when they need it and tend to be more decisive in hard situations. Moreover, they are better at dealing with stress compared to the students that have a stay-at-home life.
Traveling Forces Students to Learn Fast
When you are in a new place, you are forced to remember a lot of information. Whether it’s new hiking routes or bus numbers, the brain learns to be on the lookout all the time – in case something occurs that needs its immediate attention. Often students don’t even realize it but traveling stimulates their memorization processes, attention, and ability to stay focused.
With so many novelties around, students naturally obtain information about new cultures, languages, foreign foods, and acquire some new geographic knowledge. By interacting with locals, they inevitably learn about their jobs, backgrounds, and experiences. All this broadens outlook and helps to build new logical chains. In fact, students exposed to different traveling experiences show better comprehension and overall grasp of different subjects than their non-traveling friends.Also, they demonstrate more positivity and proactivity in the classrooms when it comes to completing additional assignments or doingmore complex and effort-consuming research.
Traveling Improves Time Management Skills
Whether it’s a short volunteering trip, a semester-long studying abroad, or a simple vacation that lasts a few days, traveling is always connected with lots of nuances to cover and issues to think through. You have to book a flight and accommodation, get a visa if you need one, consider your local transportation and itinerary, pack your bags, and find someone to feed your beloved cat. To make it all work, it requires careful planning and a hefty effort – both at home and when you are already at the point of destination.
Often, students have to go through a long scholarship application process to afford education trip, fundraiser arrangements to collect enough money for their volunteering travel, or time-consuming extensive research to save money on tour agency services. In such circumstances, theylearn to value their time and use it wisely, to set priorities,and decide what requires their attention and what can be delegated to someone else. Experience shows that traveling students are more disciplined, motivated, goal-oriented, and are better at meeting deadlines. A second-year student Lucy Hunter shared her personal experience regarding this matter:
“When I am not traveling, most of my free time I spend studying routes and new destinations. As I am also a college student, I have to be very diligent about following my daily schedule. I have all major events, tests, exams, and deadlines marked in my calendar, and it helps me to stay focused and control my efforts. For example, I know that writing is my weak point so I check my narrative essays online with a professional writer. Having someone savvy to proofread and edit your paper saves a lot of time, which I can use more efficiently.”
Traveling Helps to Build a Huge Network of Contacts
Whether they are going abroad or exploring the beauties of their native land, students will meet a lot of people on their way, who may be also students like them or fully-fledged experts in different areas of knowledge. This is a great opportunity to build a huge network of contacts that may become a part of their study group or help them with the issues they may be struggling with in the future. Whatever it is – an all-nighter study with a foreign friend online, an internship opportunity, or even a chance to start a career yet as a student – traveling opens an immense field for informational exchange, cooperation, and overall growth.
Furthermore, traveling students have better communication skills, which helps them to be more active and confident during classroom discussions. They usually build friendly relationships with their teachers and professors and are not afraid to make mistakes.
That being said, traveling enables students to grow into confident individuals with a strong backbone and thirst for knowledge which helps them to show outstanding academic results and never be someone who backs down from challenges.