With summer vacations around the corner most of the parents would be wondering about the best ways to keep the child gainfully occupied while they are balancing between their work and personal lives.
With the advent of nuclear families and the fact that nowadays both parents are working full time, it becomes essential for the family to pre-plan the vacation schedule. In the good old days, the child used to spend time at home with family and had siblings and cousins to play with in the same house; nowadays even the play dates with the cousins or friends need to be pre-planned and require tedious coordination.
Stay over at grand –parents and close relatives, a small family vacation, summer hobby courses are popular choices for the summer break but we also see a trend of International summer school programs and exchanges. Travelling and summer programs are highly beneficial for the children and have positive long-term impact on the children as they grow and become responsible adults.
Highlighting the benefits of travel and summer schools by answering questions the most common questions on the topic
How important is it for a child to start travelling at an early age? How can education and travel go hand in hand while in school?
It can be said that travel is real life education, it gives you exposure to different people, you get to step out of your comfort zone and explore the unknown and in doing so develop your self confidence, self reliance, self awareness and social skills. Moreover it gives you memories, which last a lifetime.
I believe that children should start taking school trips as early as they are able to as it is a form of experiential learning which is one of the best ways to learn. As we know that most of the premier schools today organize short trips for the students within India and even internationally through exchange programs. Education and travel can go hand in hand as education is not just about the classroom transaction but it focuses on overall development of the child which includes enhancing their physical, social and emotional quotient.
Why should you encourage your child to explore options for a travel while in school?
Keeping in mind the above stated benefits; I would encourage all children to take school trips. These are opportunities for them not only to explore a new place or develop their personalities but also to get close to their peers and form lasting bonds of friendships, which would stay with them life-long.
How old should your child be if he wants to go abroad for a summer school or a summer exchange program?
Children should go on a summer program abroad once they are old enough to independently take care of themselves, when they are aware of their own needs, limitations, likes and dislikes and can confidently take care of themselves.
What do they actually teach in a summer exchange program/ summer school? What can your child actually take back from this experience?
There is a wide variety of summer programs within India and abroad. A summer course lasts for a few weeks during which the students are offered intensive training in a subject area of their choice along with extra-curricular activities in an interactive environment where everyone is equally motivated to learn. It is not only intellectually enriching but also offers social, career benefits and gives a boost to their personality development. It gives them an opportunity to explore how will it be to study abroad after school and is an excellent opportunity to interact with the same age group from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
What are the recommended places for best education programs during summer?
Considering the wide choice available, it is wise to do a thorough research of all the available options. Internet is a good source of information and of course taking advice from people who have attended such programs or have had assistance from the school counselor can be of good help.
Some points to be kept in mind while deciding on a summer program:
- Identify the area of interest and motivation of the child.
- Include the child and jointly decide on the program
- Explore, identify and select the best possible option for the child.
- Allocate a budget and keep the costs in mind.
- Choose a recognized international university for the program. It would be beneficial if it were the same university, which the child is aspiring for to study in the future.
- Choose an international program ensure that it’s a cosmopolitan and friendly city.
- Make prior accommodation arrangements close to the university.
How to make sure that sending your child abroad for a program like this has a good return on investment?
Not everything can be measure in commercial terms. Summer programs have great career benefits for the child. Not only do they give the child an edge over their peers but are an excellent value ad to the CV which will help them in college admissions and also for their future careers. Having an experience of the international dynamic learning environment and innovative teaching methodologies enables the child to hone their research, problem solving and critical thinking skills. It also enables the child to inculcate transferable skills like effectively communicating with different people, working in diverse groups and time management skills.