The importance of travel can be summed up in a single quote: “To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” Whether you fancy active international adventures or academic cultural immersions, at Leysin American School, the world is truly at your fingertips. Our students have quick access to the incredible beauty of the European continent and the world beyond through our curated travel programs, including week-long cultural trips, weekend excursions, and day travel.
Showing young people the sights and sounds of new places in our enormously diverse world helps students develop themselves and learn about different cultures. At LAS, we have an incredibly diverse community with students from over 50 countries. However, we believe in taking this one step further and developing curiosity and cultural awareness amongst our student body by taking them to the places that they learn about in their studies.
Travel allows our students to work on themselves and develop independence, teamwork, and compassion. Giving students more responsibility and exposing them to different countries and cultures gives them a sense of independence and camaraderie with their friends. The universal personal development that students experience through travel is one of the main reasons why we advocate for it and embed it so heavily into our curriculum. Travel constantly challenges us to adapt to new surroundings, engage with people from different cultures, and share meaningful experiences and adventures with the people around us. This sense of introspective growth, compounded by the benefits that travel adds to our student’s academic development, makes travel the perfect way to facilitate learning.
In addition to the personal development that comes with travel, opening our eyes to different cultures allows us to become more compassionate citizens of the world, thus benefiting the communities and cultures we visit. A recent LAS service trip to the Sethule Orphans Trust in Zimbabwe allowed our students to gain valuable insight into the experiences of others, which in turn, developed their empathy, understanding, and drive to impact the world positively.
On our cultural immersion trips, we also organize a service-related component to teach students about being responsible when visiting other countries and how they can benefit the cultures they see on their travels. For example, LAS has a surfing trip to Portugal where students spend time doing a beach clean-up along the coastline where they have been staying and surfing all week. On our trip to Madeira, the group tours on the island and in the sea to learn about the island’s sustainable environmental projects and local marine life that is contributing and helping to have a positive impact on climate change. These community and environment-based activities show our students how they can use their privilege to benefit others in the future.
Education is crucial in allowing students to care for our planet and promotes personal growth. At LAS, we offer experiential programs and travel opportunities which develop them into compassionate, responsible, and innovative citizens of the world. We cherish the opportunity to develop this area of our curriculum to a greater extent and take students further afield. In turn, we hope to ignite their passion for travel and a desire to benefit our planet in whatever way they can.