Increasingly, schools are offering international school excursions as part of their wider academic and co-curricular program.
Planning for an overseas school excursion takes time and considerable effort, but the rewards can be broad and far-reaching for both students and educators. This guide to international school excursions will help you navigate the course of mapping out a successful overseas learning experience.
Look at the academic and co-curricular program of many schools these days, and you’ll likely see an overseas school excursion listed – perhaps a cultural exchange, a music camp, a sporting event or a language study program.
The number of students travelling to overseas destinations on a school excursion has risen significantly in recent years. The growth is fuelled by the knowledge that participation in overseas excursions enables students – and their educators – to develop knowledge, behaviours and skills that allow them to become more informed and responsible global citizens.
The benefits of overseas travel and international school excursions are well documented: it gives students greater knowledge and interest in global issues and cultures, allowing them to move beyond stereotypical views and attitudes; it opens their eyes and senses to the wider world; increases their proficiency in the use of another language; and gives them a deeper understanding of their own culture.
The planning involved in organising a group overseas excursion is considerable, and should not be underestimated. There are a number of planning and safety issues for students, families and schools to be considered in the months, weeks and days leading up to departure – and on the excursion itself.
This guide is designed to give educators a broad insight into the planning of an overseas school excursion. However, more detailed guidelines – including legal considerations, forms, check lists and other state or Territory-specific advice - can be provided by Departments of Education in each state and Territory.
Let’s start planning
It’s a good idea to allow at least 12 months to plan for an international excursion. At the very outset, it is recommended you conduct a risk assessment of your proposed excursion and incorporate as many measures as you can to deal with those risks.
Other general guidelines and considerations to plan for in the lead up to your proposed trip include:
12 months before departure
Three - six months before departure
One month before departure
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