Thursday, August 23, 2012

Educational Trips to Explore the Art and Science of Paris

As the largest city and capital of France, Paris is just a short hop away from the United Kingdom and makes for an exceptional place to go on educational trips for a taste of the art and science that makes the city what it is today. With a history that dates back over two thousand years, exploring Paris and its surrounds can seem to be a monumental task for educational trips to the city, but it is easy to manage the wealth of information and culture if you focus on a few key sights or topics.
While in Paris, it is hard to ignore the arts. World famous museums, such as the Louvre, are around every corner, but if you have a little time and want to get a more in depth look into a museum, consider a visit to the Musée d'Orsay. Don't neglect the sciences, either, which have a background that can be explored when you visit the Cité des Sciences.
The Musée d'Orsay
Situated on the left bank of the Seine, the Musée d'Orsay literally cannot be missed. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, which is a stunning Beaux-Arts train station that was built between 1989 and 1900. The building itself was completed just in time for the Universal Exposition of 1900 and the station remained one of the most important stations in France until 1939 when the short platforms became an issue for the longer trains. During the 1900s, the station was used as a film location, by auctioneers, and as a theatre company before the building was saved from destruction and opened as a museum in 1986. Educational trips here will reveal its history and heritage: it was designed to bridge a perceived gap between the collections of the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art. The resulting museum is light and airy and known for its extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works of art with names that everyone will recognise - such as Monet, Degas, Manet, and Van Gogh, just to mention a few.
Cité des Sciences
Officially known as the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, this museum is must-visit destination for science focused educational trips to Paris. Located in the outskirts, the Cité des Sciences is also the largest science museum in Europe. The museum opened in 1986, and is recognisable for its large bioclimatic façade of glass. Inside the museum features a planetarium, IMAX theatre, a submarine and a range of leisure activities that combine the history of science and modern scientific issues with entertainment and activities. Here students focused on maths, space, environmental issues and even the human body can enjoy the exhibits before heading out to explore the parklands around the building.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Tips for School Trips Overseas

Sometimes the prospect of arranging sports or performing arts school trips overseas for younger students can be a rather daunting one. Here are some top tips that you may find will help things to go rather more smoothly.
1. Consider using specialists to help. It is perfectly possible to make most of the arrangements for your own school trips, but you may find it rather less traumatic if you engage an organisation with relevant experience to help. There are specialist companies available with expertise in things such as school sports tours.
2. Choose a multi-interest destination for school trips. Trips exist to great cities such as Berlin, Paris and Krakow, or to fascinating regions such as Catalonia and Lake Garda. Even the best behaved younger students may become bored if their surroundings do not give sufficient diversity of activity for them to have a break from their day to day coaching in the sports or performing arts.
3. Plan an activity-filled itinerary. Students with excessive amounts of time on their hands, due to gaps in the timetable, may start to make their own amusement and that may occasionally lead to behaviour issues. Of course, the itinerary cannot be so full as to be exhausting, and young people need some time to themselves, but it is important to generally keep the students occupied.
4. Use only recognised centres of excellence for student accommodation and coaching. Younger students are just as capable of recognising poor accommodation and lacklustre facilities as adults. Specialist companies may be able to show you a proven track record in the centre concerned and its facilities.
5. Arrange a variety of extra-curricular activities. Even if you choose a coaching centre that is close to a major city, simply arranging a series of visits to museums and art galleries may leave some students cold. So, try to vary the agenda you set for such excursions in order to cater for the variety of tastes there may well exist in your party.
6. Make sure that your tour leader is a recognised figure of respected authority. Remember that on-site coaching staff will not accept responsibility for the behaviour of students in the party - that must reside with the tour leader and his or her colleagues on the trip.
7. Plan your school trips travel itinerary carefully. Over-ambitious journeys, particularly by road, can be exhausting even though young students are typically resilient. It might be a pity if your first full day at destination is lost due to students being too exhausted to fully participate in the day's activities.
8. Adopt a policy, in advance, on mobile device usage. This is a perennially difficult situation, but texting or net-browsing students can be a significant disruption to coaching sessions and ancillary excursions to tourist destinations.
A few basic steps such as those above might help to make school trips that bit more rewarding for everyone - including tour leaders.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Choosing the All Important Location for a School Trip

If you are trying to organise a school trip to a continental European destination you may find some of the following locations useful when making your final, all important decision on where to take students.
Spanish culture is traditionally extremely well disposed towards children of almost all ages. This makes it a near ideal destination in many respects for any type of school trip. Many such trips head towards the north east coast of Spain around the region known as Catalonia. This is a fantastic area of beaches and interesting historical cities such as Tarragona. One significant advantage of Spain is that, at the time of writing, it is one of the European destinations where students' spending money is likely to go further than most othdrs.
At most times of the year the weather is about as guaranteed to be good as it ever can be anywhere. Of course, in the summer months it can also be very hot - something which needs to be taken into account.
Few people anywhere on Earth are as naturally charming as the Italians. The country has a magnificent culture and historically has been at the centre of European and world events for millennia making it ideal for students to visit. But it's not all sun baked streets and ancient ruins. For example, Lake Garda has stunning mountainous scenery and is also close to some great northern Italian cultural centres.
Along with the Republic of Ireland, France is the UK's closest neighbour. This country has almost every conceivable type of scenery and terrain imaginable, running from the beauties of the French Alps or the Pyrenees along the Spanish border, to the green luscious hills of the Auvergne and Normandy. Not only is a school trip here likely to be able to sample some great history and culture, but it is also a fantastic opportunity for students to improve their language skills.
The Republic of Ireland
You won't find people with a greater sense of fun than the Irish! Dublin is one of the world's great cities, but the country also has many others that are well worth a visit including places such as Cork and Galway. The friendliness and hospitality of the locals is legendary, though, of course, not even the most patriotic Irishman would claim that the weather is predictable or guaranteed.
The Netherlands is one of Europe's most tolerant societies and is often considered to be a model of a democratic and egalitarian state. Students will find an immense amount to do and see here, not just including the famous city of Amsterdam but also some of the other delights of this country like centres such as Leiden and Delft. One big advantage for students visiting this country is that English is widely spoken and there are strong social and historical bonds between the two countries.
This is just a small selection of some of the countries available to a typical school trip in today's world. The one thing that it should be possible to guarantee is that students won't find themselves bored for want of things to do in any of these or other similar destinations!