07 June 2024 • 8 Mins Read

How Educational Travel Can Help Your Students Develop Confidence And Character

Navigating a constantly changing and evolving world means that character-building experiences that boost students’ resilience and confidence are more important than ever.

Educational travel provides unique opportunities to practice key life skills independently in the real world, often for the first time; helping students to improve their skills and learn new ones, supporting their development into mature adults.

Taking on new exciting experiences outside the norms of their everyday life through educational travel is a great way to build confidence and character, empowering students with the attitudes and moral and ethical values needed to navigate our increasingly complex world.

Ever since we started providing educational trips, we’ve helped teachers progress thousands of students from curious learners to confident individuals. This empowers students with rich and memorable experiences that influence long-term critical thinking and problem-solving, independence and decision-making, as well as time-management and communication skills.

Over three decades, we’ve consistently observed through the feedback of teachers that students who embark on our school trips discover their innate ability to conquer challenges and show a marked improvement in their academic performance and overall well-being.

This is a testament to the enduring benefits of educational travel.

We wanted to create memories for a lifetime - and boy did we achieve it! The key objectives were to create something long lasting for the new Year 7 Girls cohort and to develop their sense of teamwork and cohesion. We wanted to help them to develop their friendships, as they have come from a wide range of schools, so to develop their sense of teamwork and unity was really important to us. Coming back now, what’s lovely is seeing them in different groups now, with new friendships formed. It’s absolutely wonderful.”
Shiplake College


Encouraging students to explore their inner selves

Educational travel is more than just a journey to new places. It's a holistic experience that encourages students to explore their inner selves, fostering self-awareness, discipline, and the ability to be introspective.

By stepping out of their comfort zones on trips, students are placed in a position to be reflective on their choices in different scenarios and environments, evaluating the effectiveness of their decisions and thinking about how they could do things differently in the future. Honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, empathy, and integrity are not just words, but character-defining traits that our educational travel experiences strive to nurture, fostering positive behaviours and a sense of pride in their achievements.

Organising the group's plans for the day ahead and briefing students on what’s expected from them is a unique opportunity for teachers to foster trust, personal accountability, independence, and respect, while students are away from their parents or guardians. This introduction to taking personal accountability can be very powerful.

A journey of developing greater self confidence

These foundations of confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect, can once back in the classroom, enhance academic performance by equipping students to be better able to overcome the challenges they may face inside and outside of school.

Having experienced a level of autonomy and accountability whilst away from home will give them personal confidence that they can adapt to different situations, to help solve problems, and to thrive in different circumstances.

This inherent cultural knowledge is something we can often take for granted, but something that we all draw on every day in work, social, and family life, and is built up over many years from our collection of life experiences. Being able to start students on their journey of developing self-confidence will make them better equipped to handle academic work, social situations, and making friends as they progress into higher education or early careers.

I just wanted to say a huge thank you for taking G on the history trip at half term. It must be a huge effort to organise / co-ordinate a trip like that, not to mention keep control of everyone whilst there!
G had a really great time, a lovely mix of getting to spend time with friends and witnessing the enormity of the history of such a place - he spoke as though seeing all the memorials etc had a real impact on him to which is so important.

Lord Wandsworth College

Enrichment and reward

The experience of travelling on a school group tour on an Enrichment and Reward trip, boosts the sense of belonging and camaraderie amongst students, with new friendship groups often formed as students mix together whilst exploring new places and experiences.

Imagine as a primary school student travelling to London and experiencing the performance of your favourite West End show for the first time, or as a secondary school student travelling to Barcelona and gazing up in awe at the architectural phenomenon of Sagrada Familia.  Imagine your first sports tour to Disneyland Paris and capturing a selfie with your favourite netball player, or travelling to the WW1 battlefields in France to trace the journey of your relative who once fought there.

These experiences reward and inspire your students in the present, but they also provide lifelong memories to cherish and reflect upon in the days, weeks, and years to follow.

I think it would be fair to say that the children perceived the world from a different perspective that day.
Caterham Prep School France

Developing inquisitive learners

Academically, greater confidence leads to inquisitive learners who are more likely to challenge and ask questions - both essential character qualities. On the contrary, a lack of confidence can lead to adverse outcomes such as poor academic performance or a lack of motivation to learn new skills or take up hobbies outside of school.

An educational travel experience accommodates different learning styles and provides an alternative approach to education by taking lessons outside the classroom and expanding the borders of traditional learning. For example, it can create a eureka moment for some students who “just didn’t get it” back at school. This can give them the confidence to return to school or college and improve their attainment.

Feedback from 95% of teachers taking an Anglia Tours Guided History Tour was that their tour will help improve the student’s academic attainment.  

We just wanted to write to you both to say a huge thank you. [My son] had the most incredible time with you in Berlin. He is still talking to us about all the things he saw and experienced. It’s very moving to listen to him and how his understanding has deepened.
Rodborough School, Berlin

The power of learning away from home

Pre Covid, the Learning Away project researched the impact that residential school trips can have on pupils. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the research itself was carried out by independent evaluators York Consulting and found:

  • 79% of secondary students indicated that the residential has made them realise that what they had learnt at school was important to them.
  • In follow-up studies, 84% of secondary students said that because of the residential, they got on better with other pupils in the class.

The best news? Confidence and resilience come with any trip you choose – and we have so many to choose from!

With options available, including Primary School activity weeks, curriculum-linked subject learning, and College and University vocational experiences, we support students from early years into adulthood as they navigate an increasingly complex world.

Ready to start our journey together?

For more information on how we can support your pupils’ learning, please call one of our educational travel experts on 01253 441900, email us at enquiries@ngttravel.com or get a quote here: https://www.ngttravel.com/get-a-quote/

NGT is the parent company and driving force behind the UK’s fastest-growing and most innovative educational travel brands. Since 1988, we’ve offered unique, immersive tours to young people aged from 10 to 21.

All our unforgettable adventures are designed to open minds, empower learning and encourage personal growth. Our tours have enabled thousands of young people to enjoy time away from home, learn, bond with their groups, and come home brimming over with stories and memories that will last a lifetime, as well as increased confidence in their abilities.

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