An educational trip abroad is an incredibly enriching experience for students (and teachers too!) as they expand their horizons and deepen their knowledge by observing what they’ve only seen in books up close and personal. An educational trip to Africa is an amazing opportunity for students to learn about different cultures, ways of life, and even pick up on a few foreign words – all things that are often outside the school curriculum but create an incredible life experience.
If planning a regular school trip seems like a daunting task, planning an educational field trip to North Africa can seem almost impossible. There are endless possibilities, scattered information, and a plethora of responsibilities to keep in mind. But, the process is simpler than it seems and we’ve broken it down for you below. If you’re thinking of taking your group of students to Morocco, we’ll be able to help you even more – just contact our team here for more information.
Before departing, there is plenty to think about. Where will you be taking your students? When? With whom? And what will you do once you’re there? No matter what you end up planning, it’s important to always involve your students in the pre-departure process. Meet with them occasionally in the planning stages and assign them tasks and responsibilities to prepare for the trip ahead.
The starting point for any educational field trip should be your curriculum: whether you are teaching geology, biology, zoology, foreign languages, architecture, or development studies, there are plenty of incredible places in Africa to take your students on the learning experience of a lifetime.
Morocco is a wonderful country with a very unique culture and incredible geographic sites. From the infinite sandy dunes of the Sahara desert to the rugged rocky mountains of the High Atlas, and from the bustling medinas to the quiet mosques, Morocco offers a wealth of opportunities for students to explore its geography, geology, culture, language, architecture and food of the region. Our team can help you make the most of your educational trip to Morocco, catering to your group size, age, interests and budget.
The cradle of civilization, Egypt is a land filled with archaeological gems. From ancient remains of human bones to the magnificent pyramids and precious ruins of Roman sites, there are infinite possibilities to what an excavation trip to Egypt can uncover. Annual educational trips are run by American universities such as Penn State and the University of Arizona where students get a chance to work on these excavation sites and contribute to the current scientific research.
Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa
These three countries are in different parts of the African continent, but they all have one thing in common: they contain an abundance of wildlife and excellent infrastructures for students to explore. Observe animals in their natural habitat and study unique plant species in the wild. In Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa there are plenty of wildlife parks offering guided tours with experts to make sure you make the most of your educational trip. Ontdek Kenya offers services to help you plan your next science trip to Africa, Africa VIP Travel gets you al set for your educational safari trip to Tanzania and Study Trips Universities has a wealth of safari tour packages at your disposal.
If your students are exploring development studies or related fields, a hands-on experience in West Africa may be just what they need to learn how to apply what they’ve been taught in the classroom “in real life”. It’s important to know how things should be done ideally, but once in the field students will be able to learn how to adapt to different situations and improvise with the resources available. An educational volunteer trip to Ghana, for instance, with Volunteer West Africa can be a great way for students to learn first-hand about the real life struggles of development workers in Africa.
Once you’re set on a place to visit, there are a few logistical things to get out of the way. Make sure to check for the following:
- Visas: For Morocco and other countries, visas are not required for British, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and other EU nationals for a stay of up to 3 months. If you are unsure if a visa is required for travel to a specific African country, always check with the nearest embassy for more information.
- Vaccinations: When traveling in general, it is always advised to have Tetanus and Polio boosters up to date. If you’re taking your class to Morocco, consider vaccinations for typhoid (valid for 3 years) and Hepatitis A (validity varies). In general, when traveling to African countries check for levels of malaria incidence as it might be advisable to take medicine accordingly. A visit to the doctor will get you all the detailed information you need.
- Travel insurance: Having insurance is always the safest way to travel, so you know you and your students are covered in case of accidents, illness, lost luggage or other events. Make sure to choose the most appropriate policy for your destinations and activities.
During the Trip
The most important aspect of a field trip is its educational element but making sure you also are aware being in a country you may not know very well can be a challenge. Investing in expert guides and thorough tour programs is your safest bet to ensuring your students make the most of their time abroad and you don’t end up overwhelmed.
Make sure you allow your students to immerse themselves in the local culture by partaking in a variety of activities and giving them free time to explore their surroundings. This will not only motivate them to actively participate in the educational part of the trip but will also enrich their experience, creating a well-rounded class trip.
The class trip doesn’t end once your students have returned home – there is still plenty you can do to make sure they make the most out of their time abroad. Here are some ideas for activities to help students debrief and apply the knowledge they acquired during their educational trip to Africa:
- Provide a space for them to share: This can be in the form of a class discussion, a written assignment or creative project to be handed in.
- Share your trip with others: Let your students collectively prepare a short news piece or blog article to be published on your school newsletter or website to let the community know what they experienced and learned while abroad.
- Improve based on suggestions: Allow your students to not just share their thoughts and experiences but also provide feedback on the trip. This will not only encourage them to think critically on their experience but also help you plan an even better trip next time.
- Follow up on key lessons: Create assignments and projects for the class that build on what your students learned during their time abroad. This will help give continuity to your lessons and help your students retain the key lessons from their trip.