SPECIAL FEATURE: 5 Unexpected Benefits International Travel Offers Teens

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International travel opens teens eyes and minds in so many ways. Traveling sets teenagers up for future success, happiness and gives them the opportunity to create lifelong memories.

Experiencing a different culture is an immersive experience. Travelers see new sights, hear new sounds and try different cuisines. For centuries, people have recognized that travel enriches the traveler’s world view and sparks creativity. Now scientific research reinforces that long-held idea.

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School conducted multiple studies on the connection between international travel and creativity. According to Galinsky experiencing new sights, scents, tastes and sounds including the sounds from different languages “spark brain synapses.”

1. Travels Inspires Desire To Learn New Languages

For decades, study after study indicates that students who study a foreign language excel in other subjects, score better on standardized tests, and tend to be more prosperous during their adult careers. The National Education Association (NEA) compiled several decades of research.

2. Exploration and Play Enhance Health and Brain Development

According to Professor Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist at Washington State University, families tend to play more during vacations. The Telegraph reports his findings saying that play triggers feel-good neurochemicals such as opioids, oxytocin and dopamine. This results in improved health and well-being and has a positive effect on brain development.

3. Travel Causes Teens To Learn Flexibility

Visiting different countries exposes teens to different approaches to daily life. Small details like ordering a meal, arranging transportation, and even the most mundane daily chores are new. Travelers must adapt to their new environment whether it means using different appliances or following different traffic rules.

4. The Process Of Planning a Trip Teaches Planning and Financial Skills

Organizing an international trip involves travel, research and budgeting skills. Parents struggle to teach these life skills to teens who are not interested. However, teens are generally excited to plan a vacation especially an international trip.

Benefits For Teens Who Are Planning an International Trip:

  • Teens hone research skills that lead to learning about a new culture.
  • They learn budgeting and saving skills as they plan for activities and excursions they wish to experience.
  • The love of language may start before the trip even starts as the teenager uses language learning apps like DuoLingo to learn basics of a new language.
  • Teens and children are interested in learning about differences in different countries. Details like road rules and driving variations fascinate young travelers.

Often international travel starts with inter-state travel. The rules of the road vary among countries, just as they vary among states. For example driving in California is different from driving in New York. To some extent traveling within a home country also broadens perspective.

5. Cultural Experiences Lead To Improved Relationships

Travel broadens the mind as people meet others in their visiting countries. People with friends and colleagues from other countries tend to be more tolerant of cultural differences. Also, family travel strengthens the bonds within a family, according to a research review compiled by scholars from Texas A&M University.

Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media

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