This post was most recently updated on March 25th, 2019

Educational travel involves trips specifically designed with a learning component in mind. The themes of these trips can be incredibly diverse. From the culinary culture in France to environmentalism in Chile, travelers have every reason to hop on cheap international flights in order to embrace experiences that put education first. When it comes to educational travel, one thing is true across the board: these trips have the potential to change your life. Here are five examples of how:

Increase your intercultural competence

Islamic friends dining together

Intercultural competence is a concept that is used across sectors to describe how well people relate to and communicate (verbally and non-verbally) with others from different cultural backgrounds. By learning about different cultures and having the opportunity to have meaningful interactions with people from different backgrounds during educational trips, you’ll be gaining skills and perspectives that will help you in your life and career back home. For example, to enhance your knowledge of commerce and business etiquette in India, you could visit an learn more in the city of Bagru, famous for its textile and block printing industries. If you are interested in increasing your intercultural competence, make sure to choose an educational travel opportunity that focuses on culture and provides opportunities to meet and talk with people from that culture.

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Learn another language and open up new opportunities

Tourists talking with driver asking for location while traveling by local Tuk Tuk taxi in Bangkok Thailand

Depending on where you go and the focus of the trip, educational travel can be a great way to start to learn or continue learning another language. What better way to brush up on your Spanish than embarking on a language-focused educational trip to Peru? This can be a great way to apply the language skills you’ve learned in a classroom and make new connections in the process. Learning another language can open up future travel and career opportunities that you might not even be thinking about at the moment. If you are interested in learning another language, be sure to choose an educational travel opportunity that is led by a language teaching professional or partners with a language learning institution in the country you are traveling to.

Identify new passions

Coach Giving Team Talk To Elementary School Soccer Team

You might consider signing up for a trip that focuses on something you are interested in, but not necessarily an expert on…yet. The new opportunities you have along the way and new ideas you learn might spark a passion for a new hobby, intellectual interest, or travel interest that can impact your life’s path moving forward. Educational travel opportunities encompass a range of disciplines (history, literature, science, art, archeology, etc.). Imagine spending a week leaning to cook French cuisine in Julia Child’s former home in the South of France (you can actually do this!). And let’s face it, learning about these things while traveling is way more engaging than learning about them in a classroom.

Make lifelong friends

Tourist taking selfie photos with the locals in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

One of the best things about educational travel is meeting people from around the world who share your interests. This can result in lifelong friendships that can even lead to future travel opportunities (to visit your new international friends in their home countries). An art tour of Beijing would provide a great opportunity to get to know new people while taking in Ming dynasty masterpieces. You never know what types of personal and professional connections will emerge out of a diverse group of educational travelers.

Discover your next travel destination

ourist woman is wearing Non La (Vietnamese tradition hat) and enjoy sightseeing at Heritage village in Hoi An city in Vietnam.

Educational travel can be a great way to learn about different parts of the world, which usually sparks curiosity about other countries. For example, during an archeology tour in Greece, you may become interested in archeology in Egypt – next stop, Cairo! Keep an open mind and you never know where one educational travel opportunity might lead.

If opening your eyes to new experiences is the main draw in planning your travels, then go ahead and choose your next lesson and start looking for cheap international flights ASAP!

Have you participated in an educational travel experience? How did your life change as a result of this experience? Let us know in the comments section.

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.