Teacher tips for trips: The Far East

Date Posted: 19/11/2015

STO talks to Secondary school Science teacher Brett Robinson about his favourite school trip destination for A-Level students.

Where has been your favourite place to take a school trip?

“Without doubt to the Far East. In the summer of 2012 I lead an expedition through a company called World Challenge taking a group of 16 and 17 year olds to Thailand and Laos.

“They got so much out of living for a month in a totally different culture and being self sufficient within it. You learn more on a trip like that than you do on any given day in a classroom.”

What subject was it connected to?

“It wasn't really linked to a subject. It was an opportunity for students to develop life skills, to learn independent travel, to learn more about the world and develop empathy for others.”

How many pupils did you take?

16

Why did you choose that destination in the first place?

“It met many of the criteria the students wanted to get from an expedition. A culture shock, an opportunity to work and help the disadvantaged, the experience of doing some serious jungle trekking and expedition survival skills, and some nice R and R on Thailand's beautiful beaches.”

What did you do while you were there?

“Our trip was divided in to three parts. In our first stage we lived and worked in a rural village in Laos for a week. We helped the villagers plumb in a new water pipeline and spent time playing with the local children.

“We then went on a gruelling but highly rewarding expedition through Thailand's dense jungles, learning expedition skills and being self-sufficient. Finally, we ended in Bangkok for a much needed rest and some sight-seeing.”

Why would you recommend it?

“A trip like this prepares students in a myriad of subtle ways for their lives ahead. It's a unique, often once in a lifetime opportunity, to learn about a different culture. It helps them learn so many new skills and shapes their world view. Students learn so much about themselves being so far away from home for so long.”

What was the best part?

“Seeing those students who were initially scared and a little reluctant to go develop and grow into confident young adults over the course of the trip.

“The students also raised all of the money they needed to go themselves by working hard in organising fundraising events for two years prior to the expedition. For all of them it's an experience to be proud of and a hugely valuable learning curve.”

Find out more about World Challenge at www.world-challenge.co.uk.

 

School Travel Organiser's Guide