"And now what?" is a question many a teacher will be asking themselves when planning a class trip and finding it hard to decide. The choice is vast: our broad range of special experience offers contains individual programme modules covering more than 300 different offers.
Get your workbooks out, it’s time for a test! Seriously? Does learning always have to be such a drag, and above all: does it always have to be in a classroom? Not with us! Youth Hostels are a great example of what learning environments outside schools can look like and what they have to offer today. Be it an exciting expedition into the ancient world of Romans and Germanic tribes, a creative film or theatre project where everyone gets to play a leading role, or time spent outdoors discovering how much richer the flora and fauna at our doorsteps are than we would ever have expected. Whatever the theme of your school trip or supervised holiday camp may be, one thing is certain: a sense of community is something you’ll experience in every of the roughly 450 German Youth Hostels, which have been #differentthanyouexpect for almost 111 years. Whether you work wonders together in the kitchen, go vertical in the climbing arena, learn about Japanese culture during your stay in the Rhineland, or meet real wolves and bears in the Bavarian forest: in combination with healthy, varied meals, learning will happen almost by itself, while your group’s team spirit and social responsibility are playfully promoted. By the way: teachers and educationalists regularly rely on the German Youth Hostel Association’s expertise as the largest and most experienced provider for school trips. Welcome to the world of Youth Hostels!
Of course our range of class trip offers covers a broad spectrum. There are so many things that are difficult or even impossible to discuss and learn in class. For example, if you would like your class to lead an intensive and fruitful discussion about aggression, the several-day setting of a class trip is much more suitable than the rigid 45-minute schedule of school classes. Or, if you would like to promote physical and inner well-being, we recommend a class trip to a FEEL GOOD Hostel rather than a short trip to an expensive wellness resort.
Rediscover the joy of moving
This also applies to our range of sport offers. School sports – as prescribed by the timetable – are insufficient physical exercise for adolescents. A class trip will not alter this fundamental truth. However, it is not unlikely that there is at least one type of sports among all the latest trend sports that everyone in class will enjoy. And that some may continue later. Or that will animate the less sporty to rediscover the joy of moving.
For teaching subjects such as history or politics, a several-day class trip is almost indispensable. National Socialism and the Holocaust, the "Iron Curtain", democratic elections or human rights are much easier to grasp and more impressive when you are at the places where these events occurred than by reading books. And nature is the only place to learn about nature. Glossy photographs can only give a very weak impression of the cultural and architectural beauty of cities such as Dresden, Berlin or Paris – to name only one of the many aspects of culturally driven class trips.
Communication and experience
A class trip can also be beneficial when introducing "new media". New media are, essentially, methods of communication. You may be able to read about the methods in handbooks, but that will not tell you anything about their communicative effect. In order to make good use of new media, you need to know exactly what and how you want to communicate and who you want to share it with. And who would be a better partner for exchanging notes and testing methods than your class mates during a school trip?
A number of our class trip offers have more basic educational goals: they are built to strengthen the desire to discover new things, incite curiosity, provide the thrill of new experiences, or concentrate on strengthening and deepening the team spirit among youngsters.
Intro and outro
Which leaves us with the two types of class trips in our programme intended for either the youngest pupils or most senior students, respectively. Class trips for (school) beginners are designed to show children that learning can be fun, and that neither a school desk nor a timetable are indispensable for learning. Finally, we offer class trips specifically for students in their last year of school before taking their GCSE exams or A-levels. These are usually trips to one or several cities.
One thing is certain: the range of class trips offered in Youth Hostels has a great variety to offer, but it is easy to keep an overview. Individual programme modules make it possible to adapt it flexibly to individual preferences and requirements. And, as did the director of the theatre in Goethe's Faust I, you will soon come to realise: "Who brings a lot, brings something that will pass: And everyone goes home contentedly."