The Six W’s of International Performance Travel
If you are like most music educators, the idea of taking your students on an international performance tour is at once exciting, scary, and overwhelming. The value is there, but how do you go about it? Where do you start?
Learn some of the ins and outs of an international tour, so you can determine whether an international experience is the right fit for your ensemble.
Why is International performance group travel worthwhile?
The benefits of student performance group travel are well documented on this blog and elsewhere. Expanded world views, shared experience, teamwork, exposure to new performance venues, collaboration with clinicians, experiencing different people and cultures – the list goes on.
The benefit of an international trip becomes more important as our world becomes increasingly connected. Cities that are 8,000+ miles apart are now connected by non-stop air service. Phone calls that once cost $3.00 to $5.00 per minute can now be placed at no cost, and financial markets can at times be more affected by what happens abroad than by what happens at home.
The trend toward globalization is impacting the way we work and live. The more comfortable your students become with different people and cultures, the better prepared they will be for their future.
Who should take an International Tour?
If your program is already familiar with domestic traveling and wants to take your tour to the next level, international travel is a clear option. International travel requires a greater financial investment; programs which plan 18-24 months prior to departure and schedule regular fundraisers for their students tend to have a better chance of success.
What makes an international performance tour different from a domestic tour?
Whereas many of your students have traveled domestically, you are likely to learn that most of your students have not yet traveled outside North America. An international performance tour is an opportunity your students may not otherwise have. It’s sure to be new and unfamiliar for the vast majority your students, which increases the likelihood that each student will be impacted by the experience. Walking in the footsteps of Mozart or performing in a 500-year-old cathedral are just a few experiences that you can only find abroad.
Where should we travel?
The destination you choose will depend largely on your goals, and our team will guide you toward the option that is the ideal fit. If world-class performance venues are your priority, European bastions like Austria, Italy and France are strong contenders. If you are in search of a significant cultural experience while retaining many comforts of home, Japan is a solid option. If managing a tight budget is the priority, Taiwan, Ireland, China, Hungary are in the running. Whatever your goals, our team can help you choose the right option for your needs.
When should we go?
You may be locked into specific dates based on your school’s academic calendar, but if you are not, traveling in off-peak times of year can be a big help to you and your students. Each destination is different, but avoiding major holidays and tourist seasons in both the U.S. and your destination is the simplest path toward manageable crowd levels and reasonable costs. Our team can provide recommendations which are more specific to your desired travel dates and destinations.
How do I plan an International tour?
Start by reaching out to our team and explaining your goals. Our team can prepare itineraries and cost proposals, assist you in securing administrative approval for the trip, and provide you with resources you need to announce the trip to your parents and students. We’ll even attend a parent meeting and collect the trip payments if you’d like. On the trip, a member of our team will be by your side to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are some additional steps you can take to ensure your group is prepared for the journey.
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