As the Managing Director of a study abroad program
, I spend a lot of time advising students and parents on finding the best study abroad experience for them, and a lot of time working to shape the experiences my programs offer to optimize the experience for our students.
If youíre exploring the idea of a summer travel program for your son or daughter, here are six tips to help make the experience a positive one!
1) Assess what your Child Needs to Thrive
There are lots of options for summer travel experiences for students. They range from free to costing tens of thousands of dollars. There are programs on every continent, on cruises, and in your neighboring state. There are programs focused on college credit, research, service, or just plain fun.
Itís important to think about what youíre looking to get out of a travel experience. I feel itís important to mention that, except for a very limited list of prestigious, competitive, and generally free programs, participating in one of these programs will not help your child get into college. Anyone telling you that it will is giving you a (false) marketing spiel.
That said, travel abroad can have huge benefits. It widens perspective and exposes students to new things. It can teach them more about career opportunities, network them with other students and professionals, and allow them to try new things. These are valuable rewards, and I absolutely love seeing the huge and positive impact our programs have on students.
Think about what your child needs from a program. Independence? Support? Help in making friends? Experienced staff? Authenticity of activities? Value for money? Ask your child what they