Performing abroad, expanding horizons

Oct 11, 2019

Travel Notes

While we spend much of the year leading performance travel tours to some incredible stateside destinations (we’re looking at your New York City, Orlando and Chicago), we’re seeing more and more directors looking to travel abroad with their students.

More schools than ever are realizing the value of international travel, as they visit destinations across the pond and around the world. We’ve previously dismantled some of the misconceptions around international travel – today we’re going to talk about why so many directors are choosing to share an international experience with their students.

It’s all about the music

“Performing away in these in these different venues allows the student to experience the music in a different way.”

– Patrick Pearson, Orchestra Director, Oak Park and River Forest High School

Marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin or performing in the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome are experiences that just can’t be compared to performing back home. It gives the music a whole new level of intensity that your students can lean into, changing the way those arrangements live on in their hearts and minds for years to come. When you can close your eyes and remember exactly how your music sounded and still experience the wonder associated with that memory – that can be life changing.

History comes alive

“Getting kids excited about history and helping them understand that if this piece of history is cool, what else could they be more open to learning about and studying.”

– Mark Duker, Fine Arts Chair, Waubonsie Valley High School

That sense of wonder isn’t limited to the music. It’s impossible to stand in a place like the Tower of London and not feel awed by the historical significance under your feet. Or feel the breeze on your face at the top of the Eiffel Tower and not ask yourself, “Am I really here?” Those history-filled locales that most of us will only read about are alive and well in the international destinations we visit each year. From the Roman Colosseum to the Great Wall of China, history simply comes to life when you perform abroad.

Travelers, not tourists

“With the right travel partner, international travel is the most gratifying, paradigm-shifting thing that a person can do.”

– Ryan Kramer, BRT International Travel Coordinator

So many of our team members are former educators and while you can take the teacher out of the classroom, our educator planners are still passionate about equipping students for life beyond high school. One of those lessons is the idea of becoming a traveler, not a tourist. This lesson is especially important when students are bound for international destinations, as so many of the “attractions” we explore together require maturity, respect and reverence. Understanding when to be still and when to take an Insta-worthy selfie is learned only through experience and international destinations are the perfect places to practice.

Have you been considering an international experience with your students? Or have you assumed that traveling abroad just isn’t in your budget? We’d love to give you the real deal on international travel – it’s more feasible than you may have considered. Reach out today and we’ll fill you in.

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