Sep 7, 2006, 1:26 PM
Post #1 of 1
“Summer camp was great! Too bad it’s back to school!”
Adventure and Study with Overseas Summer Camps
Teenagers across North America are buckling down again, but many aren’t reminiscing about summer camp. They have become fluent in new recollections, like . . . “Europe was great! England, so steeped in history. France, so cultured, and sublime. And Rome, magnificent!”
That’s because a lot of teenagers are traveling to Europe and Asia rather than spending their senior camping and counseling years at traditional camps.
Recognizing the growing phenomenon of overseas teen travel, Target Directories Corp., the home of MySummerCamps.com, has recently acquired AllensGuide.com, a specialist in travel-based and hostel results.
The value of international experience is compelling North American students to head abroad in record numbers. The ACA Trend Fact Sheet reports that 12% of summer programs are travel/tour related.
The Institute of International Education [IIE], the leading American not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization, states that many U.S. campuses view international education as increasingly important, and identify international experience as a growing priority. More students are being encouraged to bolster language and cross-cultural skills to meet the growing global economy.
Europe continues to be the mainstay study abroad destination, with the U.K., Italy, Spain, and France the perennial top choices. But non-traditional destinations are increasing rapidly, especially to countries where American students see prospective professional opportunities. Study abroad in China has increased dramatically, in anticipation of its future economic growth, and a growing fascination with its culture.
Patricia Maloney, Director of Travel for Teens, says Americans need to know more about the rest of the world and how to safely travel abroad. As an incentive, universities look for kids with travel abroad experience, who embrace the concept of internationalism.
“Travel for Teens connects participants with other cultures, and provides them with an authentic experience within the culture’s historical milieu,” says Maloney. "Our program carefully constructs the choices for our participants so they enter touring opportunities with a prior knowledge and leave with an education."
“The intrinsic reward of Travel for Teens, the experience of traveling and studying abroad is very important, but in the real world of careers and education, parents want it for their children’s resume value,” she remarks candidly.
Maloney says that the numbers of boys joining travel and study abroad programs have doubled; traditionally two thirds of participants have been girls, their favorite destination — Paris and Italy.
She acknowledges that a drawback to travel and study abroad camps is the high costs. “Some scholarship opportunities are available through churches and Rotary Clubs, but not enough.”
As mentioned, Asia, particularly China, is growing as a travel and study abroad site.
China Quest combines travel and discovery, and learning about the Chinese culture and language. Language immersion classes in Mandarin and courses in painting and calligraphy take place in classrooms, and are interspersed with tours of Chinese landmarks. Travel excursions include journeys to Shanghai and Inner Mongolia.
Ray Li, Director of China Quest, says: “More than ever before, American students are traveling to China to study the Chinese language and culture. The new global economy is affecting everyone. Pre-college students and their parents recognize the new economy. Universities are expecting international experience from their high school graduates.”
For independent older teens and young adults, backpacking across Europe has been the mode of travel and self-learning; booking cheap airfare; touring light; staying in youth hostels and B & B’s. AllensGuide.com, now a Target Directories Corp. online directory, specializes in hostels and B & B’s across Europe, the U.K., and New York City.
Travel and learning abroad can only get bigger. International study and touring program owners can get all their online marketing needs met with TargetDirectories.com.
Summer of 2007; see you in London, Paris, Rome, Inner Mongolia . . .
Stephen Winbaum is the Communications Coordinator of TargetDirectories.com
(This post was edited by stephenwinbaum on Oct 3, 2006, 9:40 AM)