The recent Xperitas special event with Rick Steves "Why We Travel," inspired participant educators to reflect on why they travel with students.
Rick Steves is a popular public television host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. But above all else, Rick considers himself a teacher. He taught his first travel class at his college campus in the mid-1970s — and now, more than 40 years later, he still measures his success not by dollars earned, but by trips impacted.
When asked about his philosophy he graciously divulged the importance of immersing in the community of the culture and becoming a "temporary local". He discussed the impact of this more authentic approach at an early age and how it affected his worldview. He further shared that he’s found that all people are just as filled with love, joy and hope and experiencing cultural differences, can provide the ultimate souvenir, "a broader perspective of humanity."
"I need to tell you that my heart is so empty now that we cannot travel. I miss taking my students amazing places, and this has been such an empty year in so many ways. Your presentation makes me smile and brings tears to my eyes....I hope we can get back to filling our lives and our students lives with beautiful, meaningful immersive experiences again soon! YES... culture shock is such a great thing!" - TARA FROM GEORGIA
It would seem that many of the educators who participated in the event were in agreement with Rick. Many were lamenting trips cancelled due to the pandemic and expressed the desire to travel with high school students again soon. It is evident to us that these educators have a passion for nurturing cultural competency as well as language proficiency. These special teachers can't wait to return to a world where language immersion travel creates the opportunity for students to become "temporary locals" and experience life differently during a language and culture program.
"I am supposed to be in Germany with students right now. Rick Steves is hitting all my emotions; all the reasons that I take students abroad. Of course I love to be in Germany, but I travel with my students to experience Germany the way they do for their first time. I miss that so much."
- BETH FROM IOWA
If you missed the event and would like to see the recorded version, please contact Amy Litman via email at this link.
I just have chills! I have travelled with Xperitas since the early 80s and have been a fan of Rick Steves since then as well. What an amazing program. It is just so great to hear all of the background about our hero. We've been using Rick's idea's and videos to inspire/inform our students for years, but having him tell his story and focus on our students' ages and experience has just been so inspirational! As I head into retirement, I am signed up to lead a group next year with my "replacement teacher" to France. This program has just been such a shot in the arm to help move us along into the future and help us move on past the pandemic... I can't thank you all enough. Merci mille fois! - JULIA FROM WISCONSIN
Click the link for access to Rick Steves Classroom Europe®, a free online video library for teachers, students, and parents.