Five things we learnt road-testing our New York and Washington trip

Wednesday November 27, 2013

We believe in practising what we preach at WST. We wouldn’t want to recommend a trip for your students without being certain it will be a fulfilling journey for everyone involved, and the only way to know for certain is to experience our trips first hand.

This month, some of the WST team travelled across the Atlantic to return to the familiar sights of our New York and Washington trips and check, once again, that everything still meets our high standards. While we may have trodden this route many times before, we’re always pleasantly surprised to discover some fresh insight on each successive visit. Here are five lessons that stuck with us this time.

Beyond the US stereotypes

Those who think of the United States as a nation of Silicon Valley technology and cutting-edge international brands will be blown away by the country’s captivating history. A guided walking tour of Washington D.C.’s most significant historical monuments provides a stark contrast from the skyscrapers of New York and affords students a glimpse of the humble origins behind the world superpower.

Empathy from a new generation

It’s hard for anyone from our generation to imagine not comprehending the significance of September 11th, but most students today are too young to remember this terrible event first-hand. The 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York reminds us how important it is for the new generation to understand the significance of these events that shook the world.

Global perspective

One thing that can only truly be learnt through travel is the ability to see the world from a different cultural point of view. That’s why the WST New York and Washington trip includes a stop off at the United Nations Building, where students can gain a greater appreciation of how the world’s diverse populations are coming together in the era of instant international communication.

Have a nice day

It may seem like a minor point amongst the others on this list, but from a reserved British perspective, we can really learn a lot from America’s friendly, open attitude. Every year, we hear back from students and teachers alike who have had the time of their lives at Dave & Buster’s Restaurant in New York, a one-of-a-kind classic American diner chosen by WST for its fun, sociable atmosphere and great choice of games you can play after your meal.

Dream big

Another firm student favourite is the Air and Space museum in Washington, paying tribute to the boundary-breaking NASA missions that have taken place over the years. As well as providing a fascinating insight into the far reaches of our Universe, this mainstay of the WST tour teaches students to dream big and reach for their goals, no matter how ambitious they may be.

What do you feel is the most important lesson travelling has taught you or your students? Get in touch on Twitter to share your thoughts or learn more about WST’s educational trips.