With first semester behind us at Leysin American School, we’ve been thinking back on some of the fantastic experiences and trips our students have enjoyed so far this year. Switzerland provides a terrific landscape for travel, exploration, and new experiences. Some of our favourites have included canyoning, wake-surfing, skiing, go-karting, surfing, watching The Nutcracker, and of course city trips to desintations such as Milan, Zurich, Bern, and Lausanne.
Regardless of which activities or trips our students go on, there are four consistent benefits to organized school trips we have observed time and again throughout our 60 years as an educational institution:
1. Paving the way to independence
Organized school trips act as excellent stepping stones towards autonomy. Students who participate in these trips benefit from a structured schedule that also allows for some flexibility and free time. During structured travel time students can see firsthand how a successful trip is coordinated and planned. Built-in free time then allows students to learn valuable skills like time management, decision making, navigation, and responsibility—all while knowing that a trusted adult is nearby and only a phone call away. At LAS we love planning out exciting excursions that also give our students the freedom and time to exercise their growing independence.
2. Letting students participate in experiential learning
School trips help students to expand their horizons, discover new passions, and become more well-rounded. From canyoning to hot air ballooning, to indoor skydiving, LAS students have doors opened to experiences they mave have never even considered on their own. Cultural trips are also an invaluable opportunity for our young scholars to discover new languages, foods, traditions, and cultures, and adopt an open-minded worldview.
3. Helping students to explore their home country with fresh eyes
There’s nothing quite like being a tourist in your own country to discover new and exciting activities and destinations. Although COVID may have kept us from arranging many international experiences for our students, there is no shortage of exciting destinations and activities to be discovered in our home country. When travelling in a group, students are bound to find hidden gems and hotpots they have never come across before. Some of our favourite Swiss trips this year have included surfing in Sion, skiing in Saas-Fee, and enjoying the thermal baths in Lavey-Morcles.
4. Creating a backdrop for strong friendships to form
School trips are a wonderful organic way for students to forge new friendships and strengthen old ones. Exciting new experiences naturally help to bring out the best in young, curious minds, and they provide the perfect backdrop for students to build lifelong memories and friendships.