By Iminza Keboge
Published February 20, 2014
Students have never had it so good. Back in the day, all they had was a blackboard and a textbook to learn off, and it didn’t always work – how can you learn about the French revolution or the Romans without going to Paris or Rome and seeing the places that inspired or hosted events in history?
Somehow our parents and grandparents muddled through, but students today are able to visit different countries in school groups with the aim of seeing, learning and experiencing new things that will ultimately help them with their exams and throughout their lives as a whole. With airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair flying to a multitude of destinations across Europe for a relatively cheap price per person (often with discounts for school groups), it is more affordable than it has ever been to take students abroad, and parents are more than happy to pay for it as long as the trip can show that it has value in educational terms. As a result, school groups are continually jetting off to more and more far-flung destinations, including New York (for drama students) and Honduras (for biology students).
Europe, though, remains the most popular continent as far as UK school groups are concerned. Much of the school curriculum focuses on things that happened and people who lived in various European countries – it goes without saying that history students will find trips to World War I battlefields and Pompeii useful, but languages students will relish the chance to test and improve their skills in the relevant country and art, English and sciences students are also catered for in various cities and towns across the continent.
However, with only a limited amount of time that your group will have on your trip, it can be difficult to ensure that you see everything you want to, and on top of that you’ll have to organise accommodation, travel, meals and so on for a group of potentially 50-odd people.
With this in mind, it’s probably worth your while to hire a school tour company to take the pressure off you with regard to the organisation and scheduling of the trip. These companies not only handle the tours of landmarks and cities themselves, but they may also have connections with various travel operators to offer a discounted rate on those costs, as well as their own accommodation or a hotel or hostel that they know will be able to handle a medium-to-large school group. They know the city, they know the people, they know how to get the best out of it in a short space of time, and their custom-made itineraries, planned down to the minute (well, the hour), could ultimately be invaluable to you.
Whether you’re touring World War II landmarks in France, charting the ancient Romans in, well, Rome, or wandering around German Christmas markets practising your language skills, try searching online for school tour companies that you can utilise for your trip so you can concentrate on other things. They usually provide quotes depending on what you want to do and where you want to go, so there’s no commitment to book – if you don’t like the quote, you can go elsewhere.