An educational excursion can be like a game of tug and war between students and teachers. On the one hand, students see it as an escape; they want to release themselves from the shackles of the everyday classroom routine, and, once set free, they want their time in a new and exciting place to be all about fun. Teachers, on the other hand, are a little more circumspect about fun. Of course they want students to enjoy themselves, but not excessively and certainly not at the expense of learning – after all, it is no holiday.
Fortunately, there are unique types of fun students can have on excursions that actually help them grow and learn.
The Fun of Exploration
The mood of a school trip can mirror that which springs up when the bell rings at the end of class. Freedom, relief, and the opportunity to explore life outside the confines of the classroom are paramount. Of course, a voyage to Rome, Brussels or Paris will magnify this feeling fourfold in comparison to the simple sense of exploration when class ends. This fun feeling is so useful for the growth and development of students because it can teach them skills in learning and processing new knowledge.
The Fun of Cultural Expansion
Even for the most cautious and conservative student, it is hard to resist the excitement of venturing into an exotic place on a school trip. The tastes of a Spanish market, the sights of Prague’s cathedrals, the sounds of Italian churches or the smells of the loam on the fields of Verdun will set hearts to race with fun. This fun actually educates, since through it students are learning the value of practices different to their own and thus are broadening their cultural horizons.
The Fun of Peer Bonding
A school trip can jangle the nerves of even the most hardened teacher when they consider the worst that can be born from frivolity and fun intensified amongst a large group of students. But the group dynamic of having fun in a strange and titillating new location is a fine way for students to learn new interpersonal skills. Not only must they relate to their peer group in a fresh new context outside of class, but they must also learn how to get along and trust one another when they have left comfortable and familiar surrounds.
The Fun of Self-Growth
The chance to leave the classroom, roam the world, and have a unique time of fun is also a chance to develop as an individual. The very fervour and enjoyment on a school trip can shape the way students feel when they return home. Whether they are shy or outgoing, introvert or extrovert, the expectations of fun they have when they leave, no doubt tinged with slivers of trepidation, will be alternatively met and dashed. In the process, students will learn how to face challenges, their skills and their limits, and so have a chance to learn about themselves.