The common stereotype of school trips being merely educational travel with a touch of self-indulgence has been shattered of late. More and more students are finding great value in travelling to more remote and disadvantaged parts of the globe to offer a helping hand. Experts say that far from being paternalistic, these journeys, if properly managed, allow students to make a real difference in the lives and communities of those who may not have the same access and opportunities as those in the developed world.

Excursions abroad with a difference

The opportunity to travel with reputable providers such as School Travel Service is being taken up by many schools across the U.K. While many of the school trips will take students to affluent European nations, or for entertaining yet educational journeys to the Alps or Mediterranean coast, there is also the chance to visit nations that are vastly different in cultural nuance and economic development. This offers students the chance to act as volunteers, help local communities develop and grow, and attain a more mature and rounded view of the world. This, in turn, equips students with valuable life skills and a better understanding of their own place in their home culture.

A representative for STS says these school trips may take students to exotic locations such as India or South Africa. A trip to India will introduce youngsters to the lush colours and sheer diversity of this intense yet welcoming culture. Yet amid the famous sites such as the Taj Mahal and the hustle and bustle of increasingly affluent cities like Mumbai, students also have the chance to explore the harsher face of poverty that is still so prevalent in this emerging nation. Despite economic growth, poor communities like this still need a great deal of assistance to manage basic necessities such as food and water.

This is also the case with communities in South Africa, which has seen a huge gap emerge between rich and poor since the fall of the Apartheid regime. Students involved in making a difference within such communities will not only impact others’ lives but also be impacted themselves, say experts.


School Travel Service is the UK’s largest educational travel company, providing school trips for secondary schools and colleges. Find them at

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School Travel Service
One Jubilee Street
East Sussex
+44 (0)1273 645 862
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