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Major: International Economic Relations
Status: Workygirl

I am fond of chocolates, flowers, friends, loud music, watching movies, taking pictures and traveling!!!

How to Choose Summer Educational and Travel Program
Olya Bezvushko

All educational travel programs for high-school students are different. Find out what you will get before making a commitment.When it comes to youth travel programs, the process of choosing requires extensive research and careful consideration. The following questions will help you make sense of your options.

†††† 1. How many students are in the group? A travel group of 10-12 students is an ideal size, but 16 is too many and anything above 20 will guarantee a lack of instructor supervision and a cookie-cutter experience. Sometimes summer program may appear to be like a camp Ė several groups together. It is not very good option as you will be more likely to form cliques and be less likely to immerse themselves in the local culture or learn something new.

†††† 2. What is the instructor/students ratio? It is good when instructor to student ratio is low. One instructor for every four students is solid, one for every six is risky and one for every 10 is dangerous and irresponsible.

†††† 3. What is the qualification of the instructor? You have to check either instructors are professional educators or just glorified baby-sitters. How much in-country experience do the instructors have? Some organizations hire instructors who have never been to the region where the group will travel. Itís not much fun if the instructor has never been to the destination area and could not tell anything interesting about it. If youíre looking for a genuinely educational travel experience, examine the credentials of the instructors with great care.†

†††† 4. What is the aim of the program? There are programs focused on service projects, language studies or exploring the wildlife.This works out well when your interests and goals match the specific focus of the program.

†††† 5. Will you get a chance to interact with local people? Since genuine interaction with local people is such a valuable element of travel, find out how students are encouraged to meet the locals. Will there be home-stays? Are you given solo time? Does the program emphasize culturally appropriate behavior and give students the practical skills they need to communicate?

†††† 6. What expenses are not included into the program cost? You have to know beforehand what you will get for your money. Costs that might not be covered include airfare, student visas, travel insurance, airport taxes, and money for personal items and souvenirs.

†††† 7. Convey a Swimsuit research. What does it mean? The swimsuit research is simple. Look through the program catalog and count the photos of attractive students who are either shirtless or wearing swimsuits. The more swimsuit photos, the less respectable the company.Youth travel companies know that photos of cute boys and girls having fun in swimsuits will attract teenage interest. Moreover, while hanging out on the beach might look like fun, itís not an activity you need to travel across the world to enjoy. Find a program that focuses on challenging students to do more than just have fun at the beach.

Travel is too valuable an opportunity to waste.

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