Organising successful group study tours

Study Tours are a fantastic way for young learners to experience another culture, develop language skills and most of all have a lot of fun. Here at Phoenix Academy we have been hosting Study Tour groups for over 20 years. To help the organisation process go as effortlessly as possible here is some advice about things to consider:

1. Send the initial enquiry

Provide as much information as possible in the initial enquiry to the school. Estimate the number of students, age of the students, whether it will be just 1 gender or combined genders, length of stay, estimate dates or at least season and provide accommodation requirements. This will allow your partner school to develop a program that is not far off a finished product and may require only a few small edits.

2. Select students of a similar age

Think about the age gaps in the student group. From my experience I think having wide age gaps such as 11 year olds through to 17 year olds can be a problem. Will the much older kids enjoy being around significantly younger class mates? The suitability of activities is also an issue with wide age gaps in students.

English in Australia with Phoenix Academy - The school gardens.

English in Australia with Phoenix Academy – The school gardens.

3. Organise transport cards

Consider things like SIM Cards and public transport cards. Phoenix Academy can arrange these things for students and they are well worth having organised for your arrival. Having public transport cards paid for with preloaded credit as part of the package is a great idea because students do not like being surprised with fact they have to use their spending money on public transport!

4. Manage students and parents expectations

For some students this may be a snippet into the idea of further studies abroad in the future. Visiting a University or an immersion with a local High School is a simple way to add some educational aspects to the tour. This is the type of thing parents may want to see on the itinerary.

5. Prefer homestay accommodation

With regards to considerations about accommodation I highly recommend Homestay. It may not always be the most economical option but it provides the students with a priceless and unique experience. More accommodation advice from our Manager of Accommodation Services.

6. Find the right Chaperone

Appropriate Chaperone selection is vital, a competent Chaperone needs to be able to:

  • Speak English well
  • Have control over the kids but still have a fun side to them!
  • Be punctual and help out your partner school with things like following up on absent and late students

What makes a successful group stay?

Having a fun group of students willing to try new things. Students may be doing things like Rock Climbing and should always be encouraged to push their boundaries and experience new things (the same goes with food).

Pick the correct length of time. I believe the ideal length of time is from 13 – 16 days. Any shorter can come out to quite an expensive trip due to some fixed costs.

Make sure special requests such as Homestay, religious, dietary requirements are passed on to the school, its best to have these readily organised for arrival.

Pick the right days to arrive. Arriving on a Sunday and departing on a Saturday are most times the best fit.

A study tour is a great opportunity for young learners to experience another culture, develop their language skills as well as create friendships. Perhaps it will be the eye opening experience they needed to decide studying abroad in the future is something that they will take part in!

Kane Gatty is Marketing Coordinator with Phoenix Academy (School profile | www.phoenix.wa.edu.au).

 

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About this blog

Members of IALC share their insights on the language travel industry. Contributors are owners, directors, managers, teachers or administrative staff of IALC-accredited language schools worldwide.

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