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Khiri Travel has pledged that 2.5% of its total revenue from new educational travel group bookings that visit the region until 1 October 2015 will be donated to youth development.
The announcement comes as Khiri Travel Cambodia Sustainability Ambassador and Educational Travel Manager, Linda Oum, targets educational institutions in Singapore ahead of her visit there in February-March.
Khiri Travel Cambodia is building on experience from handling numerous student groups over the last few years. These include the American Youth Leadership Program, the American Oakland High School, American Global Explorers and American Moondance Adventures.
Andre van der Marck, VP Khiri Travel, says educational travel done well benefits both students and the host communities in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. “The local villagers and school children benefit from the visit as the supervised pupils do useful social work such as building a house, toilet facilities or decorating a school nursery.”
Van der Marck says that the green season tourist months from May to October are ideal as there is greater availability of accommodation, air tickets, guides and supervisors at affordable rates.
The delivery of educational travel takes careful planning, says Anna Pollock, Founder, Conscious Travel, and contributor to the e-book Adventures Less Ordinary – How to Travel and Do Good.
“Overseas educational trips should be part of most students’ curriculum provided they are based on respect,” says Pollock. “With the right preparation and attitude, such trips can boost understanding and empathy between hosts, the visiting students and teachers.”
Taking students into a novel environment tends to have positive results.
A study by the University of Gloucester in UK called, The Role of Overseas Field Courses in Student Learning in Biosciences (2014), concludes: “We found that, with appropriate preparation, running field courses in unfamiliar locations can add to the general benefits of fieldwork for student learning. Our findings do not support previous work suggesting that students can be disadvantaged by novelty. We conclude instead that the novelty of the environment, and the new experiences thereby afforded, were positive.”
Khiri Travel says educational travel trips work best when there is one project leader on the school side who is clear about the strategic objectives.”If the trip has direct relevance to what the students are studying, there is heightened engagement all round,” says Edwin Briels, General Manager, Khiri Travel Myanmar.
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