The classroom is a fantastic place to advance in academic knowledge, but one of the best ways to enrich one’s education in more than an academic way is by traveling and experiencing different cultures.
Many students spend about 5 days a week in classrooms that have familiar environments and the same people. This can prevent students from experiencing things first hand. Student might only get used to the few areas surrounding them, instead of the million more that are out in the distance.
Although schools provide students with education, traveling abroad – backpacking through Europe, missions trips to Southeast Asia, or building homes for Habitat for Humanity in South America – creates profound experiences that are unique to an individual. For example, viewing the crumbling ruins in Athens, or walking China’s oldest cities Xi’an, teaches students history but also culture through first hand experiences. Unlike books or movies that simply deliver an explanation about adventures, travel allows students to create his or her own adventures and memories.
“I truly love traveling because it’s such a great way to make new memories. Whether the memories are good or bad, the experience is what really counts,” said Sarah Kim. “Whenever I travel during the summer or during school breaks, small problems can occur fairly often. Although these aren’t always the best, I’ve realized that these situations let me learn to work around or even overcome issues.” Through traveling, you learn problem solving in real situations and learn from your mistakes as well, helping you grow as a student but also as a person.
With so many diverse cultures around the world, not all people live the same way. Food, transportation, language, clothing, entertainment, and lifestyles in general can differ between two different cultures. Personally experiencing these differences leaves a great impact on a person and can teach someone so much more than what they can learn from a book or movie.
Jeffrey Adams told JSR, “When I went to Japan over the summer, I never knew that it is so different than living in America. By going along with Japan’s customs, I found myself actually adapting to the culture and because of this, I learned so many things that I would’ve never known before. It was really interesting and it was definitely a trip I’ll never forget!”
Many when traveling will experience these things, and so it is good to consider doing as much traveling as possible over the summer break in order to gain an education that cannot be learned in a classroom. * This article was edited for publication purposes.