4 Superb School Trips for Modern Foreign Language Students

School trips are an important, almost invaluable aspect of teaching modern foreign languages. Taking students to a country where the language they are learning is spoken natively offers unparalleled opportunities to improve their listening and speaking skills – in comprehension and vocabulary – and even pick up local newspapers and books to test their reading abilities. The languages learnt at schools are varied, giving organisers a broad range of destinations to choose from for educational travel. Four top destinations for four (or five) languages are Bilbao and Cantabria in Spain, Brittany in France, Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia, and Beijing and Xian in China.

Bilbao and Cantabria (Spanish)

Bilbao and Cantabria, in the northwest of Spain, are known for the especially “pure” Spanish spoken there. For Spanish students looking to concentrate on their core Spanish skills on school trips, Bilbao and Cantabria are ideal, with numerous chances to practise Spanish-speaking skills. The region is also testament to Spain’s long cultural history, beginning with the Caves of Altamira and the spectacular prehistoric paintings of animals that date to up to 35,000 years ago. More recent artworks are on display in the European Guggenheim, in Bilbao.

Brittany (French and Breton)

Brittany, in northwest France, is a land of 300 Catholic saints, ancient megaliths, Celtic culture and a delicious marine and sweet cuisine. School trips to Brittany will focus on French, spoken widely as the dominant language of the region, but Brittany is also the home of Breton, a Celtic language most closely related to Cornish. Students can see how the two languages co-exist in Brittany, most noticeably in the signage. Combined with that, the unique culture of the region will make the trip a particularly memorable way to visit France.

Moscow and St Petersburg (Russian)

Learning Russian invites students on an educational excursion to the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, two vast and brilliant cities that have played an important role in Russia’s tumultuous history. Visiting them, students will gain an increased understanding of Russian history, as well as language-enhancing conversations with Russian people on the Moscow Metro or sampling Russian food. Moscow and St Petersburg are both well known for their central political spaces: Moscow’s Red Square, with the Kremlin on one side and the onion-shaped domes of St Basil’s Cathedral at the far end, and St Petersburg’s Hermitage at the Palace Square.

Beijing and Xian (Mandarin Chinese)

As China’s political power grows ever greater, many schools are recognising the value of teaching their students Mandarin Chinese. School trips to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Xian give students a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the Mandarin language, as well as seeing some of the most famous historical monuments in the country. In Beijing, students can visit the vast Forbidden City and go on an excursion to the Great Wall. At Xian, they can discuss the remarkable imperial burial of the Terracotta Warriors. Throughout, the possibilities to speak to Chinese people will take their language skills to the next level.

Essential Equipment For a Camping Trip

Prior to embarking on a camping trip, it is important to make a packing list. This should include not only the clothing, but equipment and supplies as well. Being stuck far from a store without having one of the camping must-haves could result in the trip being cut short. Here is some essential equipment for a camping trip, whether the adventure will last one day or one week.

Most obvious are the tent, ground covering tarp, and another tarp to place on top of the tent, in case it rains. Sleeping gear such as mats, sleeping bags, inflatable air mattresses and pump, pillows, sheets, and blankets are also necessary. In order to have light at night, campers should pack a lantern with fuel supply (if necessary), flashlights, and flashlight batteries.

Trash bags, rope, clothes pins, plastic storage bags, and a first aid kit will come in handy during many trips. Tools like a saw, army knife, scissors, a hammer, screw drivers, wrenches, and a small shovel may also be useful. If the campers plan to have a campfire, do not forget the waterproof matches, fire wood, and fire-starting devices such as treated wooden blocks or newspaper.

It is important to stay hydrated and well-fed while in the woods, so bring a supply of food and water, along with cooking utensils and a camp stove with fuel. A can and bottle opener should come along if there are any containers that require their use. Do not forget plates, napkins, bowls, cups, silverware, and paper towels. If disposable items are not used, a dish pan, dish soap, and dish towel will be needed in order to wash the dishes.

That is the essential equipment for a camping trip, but campers should not forget their personal items or fun supplies for games and sport. Run down the packing list when compiling the items, then check it again before stowing anything. This will prevent the shock of realizing that the tent is still at home while the campers are sitting in the campsite.