Travel Abroad at a Young Age Enhances Education, Career Growth and Success

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Traveling overseas at a young age supports school performance, leads to successful careers and increases the likelihood of continued travel throughout one’s life, according to a survey in support of the launch of Educational Travel Week. Travel trend expert Daniel Levine of Avant-Guide Institute to host live chat on enhancing learning experiences during travel, Thursday, September 16, 2010, 3 p.m.

Educational Travel Week

“We believe that educational experiences can be found wherever and whenever you travel,” said Olle Olsson, Explorica's Founder and President. “Travel is about the learning inherent in the experience."

Traveling overseas at a young age supports school performance, leads to successful careers and increases the likelihood of continued travel throughout one’s life, according to a survey in support of the launch of Educational Travel Week. The survey, The Impact of Early Travel Experiences, jointly endorsed by the Student Youth & Travel Association (SYTA) and Explorica, a company creating educational tours that connect students to new cultures, languages and people through educational travel, reveals the positive impact that early travel experiences have on personal and professional accomplishments and travel trends during adulthood.

Live Chat: Thursday, September 16
Trend expert Daniel Levine, director of The Avant-Guide Institute, will lead a live chat on Thursday, September 16 at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss survey results and trends. The chat will take place at http://www.educationaltravelweek.com; participants will then click the “Live Chat” tab to join. A highly-acclaimed speaker on the subject of travel, Levine has addressed the World Travel Market, Tourism Futures and The New York Times Travel Conference, and will be the opening keynote speaker at the 2010 World Youth & Student Travel Conference conference in Beijing. Levine began his career serving the student and youth travel market, researching and writing the legendary guidebook Europe on $50-a-Day and nine other best-selling travel books, including Frommer's guides to California, Florida, London and Italy.

Educational Travel Week celebrates the transformational experience marked by exploring new destinations, cultures and ideas. The goal of the Impact of Early Travel Experiences survey was to gain a better understanding of the learning inherent in travel and the resulting life enhancement as a result. Educational travel is a sector of tourism increasingly recognized as an important way to connect teachers and students to new cultures, languages and people globally.

“By increasing awareness of the educational and cultural benefits of student and youth travel, we can further explore the long-term effects of experiential travel and support the important efforts of reputable youth travel service providers,” said SYTA President Patrick Connor.

The survey revealed three primary themes:

•Those who travel abroad before the age of 18 achieve academic and professional success.

•The majority of individuals that participated in youth travel directly credit their travel experiences as positively impacting their education and career.

•Youth travel increases the frequency of travel as an adult, as well as an increase in the number of destinations explored.

Higher Education and Careers
The survey revealed that more than 88 percent of respondents that traveled before the age of 18 received a college degree, with more than a quarter of respondents going on to receive an advanced degree. Respondents also were high performers in school, achieving impressive college grade point averages (GPAs). More than 81 percent of respondents achieved a college GPA greater of 3.0 or higher, with more than 40 percent completing college with a GPA greater than 3.6.

These achievements are not limited to educational excellence. Half of the survey respondents who traveled before the age of 18 reported a household income of more than $75K, and almost a third boasted a household income of more than $100K.

Thank You Youth Travel
Survey respondents were asked to share the lasting impact of their travel abroad experiences. Local culture immersion provided the most lasting impact according to respondents, and almost three-quarters of these respondents credit their travel experiences with positively impacting their education and career. In fact, more than 90 percent of respondents report a willingness to participate in an educational travel experience again as an adult.

While it is not surprising that more than 50 percent of respondents portray their youth travel experiences as “fun,” it is notable that 40 percent of respondents report their youth travel is best described as “engaging.”

Travel Often and Travel Far
The survey also revealed that youth travel heavily impacts travel behavior in adulthood. Survey respondents that traveled outside North America before the age of 18 continue this trend as adults. In fact, more than 43 percent of youth travelers have visited at least ten countries outside of North America, with almost 90 percent traveling to non-English speaking destinations. Travel is considered so important to these respondents, that more than 70 percent report spending at least $2,000 each year on travel, with one out of four respondents spending more than $5,000 annually.

“At Explorica, we believe that educational experiences can be found wherever and whenever you travel,” said Olle Olsson, Explorica's Founder and President. “Travel is about the learning inherent in the experience. We build our educational travel programs so teachers can apply classroom learning to real-world experiences. Educational Travel Week is a way for all those involved in travel as a teaching tool – educators, students and parents – to celebrate the richness of all travel experiences.”

Educational Travel Week
Release of the survey marks the celebration of Explorica’s Educational Travel Week. Other Educational Travel Week activities include video and photo contests that offer a chance to win two free tickets to Europe or the opportunity to win a $500 restaurants.com gift card, culturally-specific Facebook quizzes on favorite travel destinations and more.

Conducted in August/September 2010, the survey polled North American travelers over the age of 21 who had taken a trip abroad – whether through a school-sponsored tour, a family trip or other independent travel – before the age of 18.

About Explorica, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Explorica Educational Travel creates educational tours that connect students to new cultures, languages and people. Through Explorica's use of exclusive online tools, they help teachers create tours uniquely suited to provide both the best value and the most customized, authentic tour experiences. For more information, call 1.888.310.7120, visit Explorica Educational Travel's Website, join Explorica on Facebook or follow Explorica on Twitter.

Media contact:
Scott MacKenzie
The Castle Group
617-337-9514
smackenzie(at)thecastlegrp(dot)com

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Castle
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