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Thinking outside the classroom: The benefits of study visits and enrichment activities

Michele Philp-Wilson, Customer Account Manager, Studylink Tours

Following Covid lockdowns, the priority for educators to get students back into the classroom for face-to-face teaching. However, the value of engaging students in learning outside of the classroom environment cannot be underestimated.

StudyLink Tours, the UK’s leading student group travel company for the FE and HE sectors, has conducted research to gain a deeper insight into the benefits of enrichment activities and educational visits for college students.

All the college educators taking part in a survey agreed that learning outside the classroom was important for students’ personal development.

Meanwhile, nearly three-quarters (74%) of teachers felt not enough time is dedicated to learning outside the classroom or to other enrichment experiences.

So, what critical skills are most important to develop through the transformative experience of enrichment activities and educational visits? The isolation caused by the pandemic means peer-to-peer bonding is the top priority for many teachers. These experiences can bolster students’ relationship skills, build respect, empathy and patience, along with their acceptance of their peers’ diversity and equality, and the development of compassion.

Barriers to overcome

So, what are the main barriers to learning outside of the classroom, and how can these be overcome? Undoubtedly, the cost and time involved in planning are the two biggest obstacles to getting a college trip off the ground, but there is a host of support available to help overcome these barriers.

From a funding perspective, the earlier you start the planning process, the easier it is to raise the required level of funds to run the trip. Aside from student and parent funding, there are some other great ways to raise additional funds for your college trips:

  • Involve your students in fundraising activities for the college – This can often help further develop students’ skills, such as creative-thinking, teamworking and communication skills. If utilising their subject knowledge too, this can also be a great way to apply a practical context to their classroom learning too.
  • Engage your college alumni or local businesses – Sponsorship from college alumni or external employers can be beneficial to the individual or business. It’s often a great way for them to demonstrate their commitment to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) initiatives.
  • External funding schemes – The Department for Education’s Turing Scheme, the follow-up to the Erasmus scheme – is one option. Crowdfunding platforms and local grants are another. There is a wealth of external funding options for you to utilise to help pay for some or all your planned trip expenses.

If you would like any further information on how StudyLink can help assist you with your student group travel requirements, please contact info@studylinktours.co.uk.

This blog post was contributed by StudyLink, an affiliate partner of AoC. It does not necessarily represent the views of AoC or its members.