In line with the ideas in our Educator’s Guide, here are some open-ended questions to get your students to think broadly about their upcoming trip and how to exercise their travel brains:
Describe your own community in three sentences.
Prompt with additional context: When we visit communities, we tend to ask questions that are broad and sometimes difficult to respond to. What are some more specific questions you can ask to draw out some details that you can use to create cross-cultural connections with people you meet along the way?
If you were navigating another culture, what labels do you think people would put on you? Do you identify with these labels? What would you want people to know about you that would surprise people?
We, as humans, do this naturally and serve as ambassadors especially when we travel. Step outside yourself and think about how you’ll be perceived, and what control you have in shaping these perceptions.
What is one meal your family eats at home that best sums up your family’s food culture?
There is “traditional” food, and there’s home-food. Think critically about what you and your family eat, where you eat it, who you eat it with.
What do you expect to be the most challenging part of this trip? (Food? Language barrier? Being away from home?) What are you most excited about?
It’s hard to really know how you’re going to react in a new place, but think hard and try to anticipate or even mitigate some of these challenges.
What is the biggest impact you can have as a traveler?
Think about the impact on yourself, your host community, the environment, your family at home, and your school community. What are the intentional impacts? What are the unintended impacts?
What are some ways you can set good expectations for your parents on this program? How can you show gratitude for supporting you in this experience?
Your parents are putting a lot of trust in your ability to be safe and responsible while traveling, as well as to advocate for yourself and take an active role in your learning. As a parent, what would you want your child to get out an experience like this?
Who is the hero of your travel story? What do you expect to take away from collaborative service initiatives with local communities?
What information are you sharing about community members you met? Are you putting people in a positive light? Who is the protagonist, and who is the supporting character in the stories you will tell about your experience?
Further prepare your students for mid-trip reflections with additional prompts to start conversations with your students about the experiences they’ll have on your trip.
Click below to learn more about how to customize the perfect Rustic Pathways Group Travel program for your students.
Lauren brings experience from across Rustic Pathways’ sales and operations, including as our Strategic Partnerships Manager and USA Country Director. She lives between two Caribbean cities—New Orleans and Santo Domingo—and spends time by the ocean in New England where she grew up. She is a Temple University alumnus and non-fiction reader. You can usually find her hosting unexpected parties, exploring cities, or hiking the bayous with her family.