High School Travel Abroad Isn’t Just For Learning A Language

Almost every high school in the U.S. requires its students to take a foreign language.  It can be French, Spanish, or even Latin, but the message is clear: learning a second language is a crucial stepping stone in a young person’s education. It’s easy to see why the obsession with languages might make students think that traveling abroad is a great chance to get ahead in the language department.  Learning grammar and vocabulary in class is no match for getting first-hand experience practicing the language in a native-speaking country.  Traveling abroad is a great way to master a language – in fact, it’s one of the easiest and fastest ways towards fluency.  We’re not going to deny that.  However, it’s important to remember that learning a language isn’t the only reason to take a high school trip abroad.  There are many reasons to travel abroad, especially as a high school student.

Traveling abroad helps students learn more about themselves.  It teaches them perspective and gives them the chance to experience different cultures first-hand.  When students travel to another country, they are completely immersed – from language to eating habits to traditions.  Secondly, summer programs can help them learn how to think critically.  Atlas Workshops combine elements of research and creative thinking.  Language is an important aspect of traveling, but it is not the only element of traveling that impacts lives.

Experience a New Culture

With Atlas Workshops, students have the opportunity to experience a new way of life. It’s important for students to be thrust into a totally new environment, especially before leaving home for college.  It helps them build resilience and character, and shapes the way they think about problems.  Whether it’s having to adjust to spicy cuisine or being exposed to adversity and poverty, when students challenge themselves to try new things, they grow.  The experience helps them prepare for other, bigger challenges down the road.

Learn How To Problem Solve

Atlas Workshops offers students the chance to solve real world problems while learning.  Last summer, students explored Scandinavia’s transit system and discovered the benefits of commuting without a car.  They studied Scandinavia’s easy and accessible transportation, and took note on how many people cycle to work rather than drive.  They designed methods to replicate and implement similar systems in the U.S.  At the end of the program, the students put together a book filled with ideas they had come up with during the two weeks.  The compilation of ideas were created using research techniques and design thinking, but all of the work was done outside the classroom.  Students learn at a faster rate when they are totally immersed in a new culture and absorb information better by experiencing it first-hand.

Have Meaningful Fun!

Most importantly, traveling abroad is an incredibly fun and enriching experience.  Any student that has the ability to travel should take advantage of the opportunity.  Traveling expands high school students’ horizons, and broadens their view of the world.  Being part of an Atlas Workshop is challenging and educational, but it is also inherently fun. Whether we are visiting a theme park or meeting with a city’s mayor or having dinner with friends, there’s an element of fun in everything that we do.

This summer, join Atlas Workshops as we travel to Scandinavia, India, Berlin + Prague, and Croatia to discover the unique beauty of these regions. We will meet with innovators in the field, interact with local students and workers, and work towards solutions aimed at fixing specific global problems.  These high school summer trips are embracing a new way to travel, one that nourishes creativity within students and encourages learning outside of the classroom.