Category Archives: Blog

The Presidential Inauguration

                      Blog Picture for Inauguration                      The Presidential Inauguration is a ceremony that dates back to George Washington. Did you know that inauguration day wasn’t always on January 20th? It used to be held on March 4th. So, why the long wait? Well, back before all the technological wonders of today, it used to take a tremendous amount of time for the President Elect to get his administration together. Once it was discovered that it would no longer take as long, America decided on a new date, which is the one we use today. And, not all inaugurations since the change have actually been on January 20th. President Barack Obama was sworn in as our President on January 21st, 2013. This is because the 20th fell on a Sunday.

The inauguration procedure is based more on tradition than the constitution. The Constitution only states that the President must take the oath of office. The oath is the very first thing that happens on inauguration day. Though it is not the President’s. Before the President Elect is sworn in the Vice President elect must be sworn in. Then, the President is sworn in. After all the oaths are taken, the new President will address the nation. As the former President exits the White House, the new President has an inaugural luncheon, followed by the famous Inaugural Parade. The very last thing that happens on the day of inauguration is the Inaugural ball.

This year, this historical day falls on a Friday. This is the day that we, as Americans, welcome Donald J. Trump as our 45th President. This will be a very educational day, which only comes once every four years. Here at Educational Travel Consultants, we have several groups attending the inauguration. We always get great feedback, the wonder in a child’s eye as they watch hope and dreams come true as the President is sworn in to do the most amazing job in the world is. Every Inauguration is different, but very important. For the schools that are attending the 2017 inauguration, seem to be excited and hopeful for their trip.

Happy Traveling!

ETC Team
Educational Travel Consultants
(F) 828-693-1591
(TF) 800-247-7969


Brooklyn Street Art Tours for Students

Traveling to New York City to see the magnificent street art is a great experience for students who enjoy art. Add to that, the city lights and diverse cultures, this is a trip to remember. New York City thrives on individuality and creativity. From the awe-inspiring Broadway shows to Central Park where artists are as common as blades of grass, New York City is the place to travel to for inspiration and stimulation. Whereas in other big cities graffiti is looked at in a negative light, NYC broadcasts the beautiful art as a part of their heritage and culture. Graffiti started as early as ancient Rome, but the Urban Graffiti style started in New York City in the late 1960s. Brooklyn Street Art Tours are the newest trend to get students out of the traditional art show setting and into the heart of the city to experience the culture of the people who dwell there.

The Brooklyn Street art tour that is offered by Educational Travel Consultants provides an inside look at the various graffiti art and artists. Students will take a walking tour through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, including Bushwick and Williamsburg. What is great about this particular tour is that no two will be alike. With the ever-changing skyline of New York and the influx of graffiti artists to the area, new “canvases” are being unveiled daily. Your students will experience the dizzying collections of urban images that give testament to the vibrant culture that makes New York City a true melting pot of the world. Please contact one of our representatives or visit our website to book a Brooklyn Street Art tour with Education Travel Consultants.


Blended Learning About Wildlife: Saint John’s River and the Hontoon Dead River in Florida

manatee_experience-300x198by Howard Clemens

September through May is an excellent time to take student travel groups on an eco tour of the Saint John’s River. Student travelers will be fascinated by the famous manatee, the gigantic sea creature with a Buddha-like personality. At the intersection of Blue Spring State Park and Saint John’s River, students are likely to see this joyous creature that visits the back-waterways of Florida seasonally, where there are warm waters and plenty to eat.

The world of reptiles, wading birds and more awaits the eager student of the environment who will learn more about Central Florida through active immersion in the natural world.

Classroom Preparation for the Adventure of Saint John’s River
Have students engage in online studies about wading birds such as the blue heron, wood duck or water thrushes. In reptile species, students can investigate alligators, turtles, frogs, lizards or snakes – all plentiful in the Central Florida region. Or, perhaps they are interested in studies about bottlenose dolphins and river otters or even muskrats- all native to this eco-system.

Why Are People So Fascinated with the Manatee?
Also known as the ‘sea cow’ the manatee has a bizarre yet fascinating appearance. Its overly large body is buoyant while its head is small in comparison. A set of docile eyes gives the manatee the natural look of compassion and empathy not seen in many species. The manatee lives in the Saint John’s River from November-March. During this time no swimming or boating activity may occur at manatee protected areas – including Blue Spring State Park. Student travel groups may still observe them in their winter habitat. This part of Saint John’s River provides the warmth and food the manatee need and all who visit love to gaze on the many manatee that gather in the River.

Riverboat tours of the Saint John’s River
The upper Saint John’s River provides diverse swampy habitats and boating activities are not restricted during manatee season. Upriver, there are an assortment of riverboat tours to choose from. Schedule a boat tour in advance in conjunction with a student travel company. Touring the river like this will give students a chance for close observation of many species of mammals, reptiles or birds they have studied beforehand. A science or environment teacher’s presence enhances the experience. On board, students will listen as a tour guide points out and describes different habitats and parts of the river, while students look closely for the animals that live in Central Florida’s inland rivers.

Facts About the Saint John’s River & the Hontoon Dead River in Florida
The Saint Johns River is unusual because it flows south to north, is relatively young (5,000 years old), and runs a length of 310 miles. Yet, it flows very slowly, making it the perfect environment for a student group study of an eco system. The Saint Johns River basin is inhabited by 3.5 million people and spans 8,840 square miles. The northern end is in a warm temperate climate while the southern end of Saint John’s River is in a subtropical climate. This student tour focuses on the area close to Orlando, or Central Florida.

A canal links the Saint John’s River to the Hontoon Dead River. A dead river is very much alive. What distinguishes it from other rivers is there is little current. Snake Creek is another tributary that surrounds Hontoon Island State Park. This is another warm water refuge for manatees and is protected by the State of Florida. Manatees are reportedly friendly to paddlers on the Hontoon Dead River. The marshy landscape beyond the island is lined by Cypress Swamps and hardwood hammocks. Here, waterfowl, reptiles and various swamp vegetation can be studied by student groups. The slow movement of the river is an advantage.

Central Florida Eco Tour for Student Travelers
With a span of 310 miles there is so much to see on the Saint Johns River. Each of the tributaries has something different to offer, too. The most exciting thing for students will most likely be sighting manatees or even getting close. However, boat tours can only get so close to see them in season without disrupting their protected natural environments. The boat tour has a great deal to offer student groups by passing through different environments on the river, illustrating diversity of habitat and species.

Post Trip Sharing
Many students will want to post photos to their individual Facebook accounts. Why not make a community Facebook page just for the adventure? If set-up of a special page is too complicated, consider asking the educational tour company to use their Facebook page to share these outdoor adventures. What is important is sharing in one place on the Web, to gain differing perspectives. Pictures and captions of the class trip to Central Florida are sure to be colorful. Sharing is a great way to engender learning.

Have students collect information about the mammals, reptiles, or waterfowl they choose to study. Share the experience of seeing actual manatee in one whole class session – using photos, film and writings captured along the way.

Choose a seasoned student travel company to help make a visit to Saint John’s River spectacular and fun. Email: or visit

Students Travel to New York City and Washington D.C. from the Bahamas

For the past dozen years, Angela Culmer, an elementary school teacher at Queen’s College in the Bahamas, has taken her 5th and 6th grade classes to Washington D.C., Atlanta and recently, New York City, to take part in an educational tour.

Culmer structures the custom tours with Educational Travel Consultants, a company based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. “We incorporate science, history, social studies, language and literature on these tours,” says Culmer. Teachers give the children questionnaires, instruct them to take notes and give them challenges like taking photographs and naming historic sites. “The kids love it. They soak it up,” says Culmer.

For an educator, custom designed student tours are an excellent way to synchronize a curriculum to a student trip. “I just let Educational Travel Consultants know what I want to do with my student group, and they find it for me,” commented Culmer.

While visiting Washington D.C. in 2014, students went to the National Air and Space Museum. “We spent a great deal of time at this museum. The students love the interactive exhibits, the different planes from World War II and they really loved the flight simulator,” said Culmer. Another destination in New York City they visited was the 911 Memorial (the 911 Museum was not yet open at the time of their trip). “The children have an understanding of what happened on September 11, 2001, even though they are only 10 years old. The visit to the 911 Memorial was a “reality check for them,” commented Culmer.

The other major sites visited in New York City included Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, and a trip to Broadway to see “Momma Mia.” Culmer included these performance venues in the student trip because in the Bahamas, students “don’t get to see this level of professional performance like they do in the City of New York.”

Washington D.C is another popular place for student travelers to absorb some American history and culture. In addition to the usual visit to the White House and Capitol, Culmer schedules time at the Embassy of the Bahamas. “Students have on overview of why the Bahamas has an embassy in Washington D.C. and its purpose,” says Culmer. “If a Bahaman attends school in the United States, they must register at the Embassy, in case anything ever happens, they have somewhere to go,” she added.

Other sites visited in the Washington D.C. area included Mount Vernon and the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Culmer said the living history actors at Mount Vernon spoke directly to her students and stayed in character. The student travel group also visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore. “There are many different aquariums in the Bahamas. But there’s still a great deal to see in Baltimore, because the environment is different, there is much to learn,” said Culmer.

The student trips have been a great success throughout the years. Queen’s College music department will be sponsoring a trip to Atlanta in January of 2015 to participate in the Battle of the Bands. As far as recruiting teachers, chaperones and students to attend these trips, “They absolutely love traveling to the United States. In fact, there are usually teachers vying to go,” said Culmer.

Historical sites, cultural venues, dining, shopping and entertainment are on the itinerary for a trip to the U.S. However, Culmer believes there are even more valuable lessons to be learned from such travel. “One of the primary learning experiences of this type of trip is that children learn to travel on their own (without their family members),” observes Culmer. “Students learn to be independent and handle their own money, too,” she added. With student travel to the U.S., all of these life lessons combine to offer them a wonderful opportunity to grow intellectually and socially.

For more information on student group travel visit Educational Travel Consultants online.

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art: New Eyes on the Old World

national-museum-african-artby Howard Clemens

Visit one of the most popular museums in Washington DC and provide for your students a window into the cradle of civilization. First Lady Michelle Obama recently said, “Learning through the arts reinforces critical academic skills . . . and provides students with the skills to creatively solve problems.”

Take student travel groups on docent-led tours of the permanent and visiting and traveling exhibitions, or let them hook into an audio device and tour on their own. The museum website has easy access forms to plan your visit for both tours and museum staff-led workshops. Specific tours – such as the Jambo tour – will be tailored to elementary, junior high or high school curricular needs.

Permanent Exhibits at the National Museum of African Art in D.C.
The National Museum of African Art is often missed by student groups visiting Washington D.C., yet it contains one of the most staggering collections of African art on display in the world. Touring the museum will complement many types of African studies in literature, the arts, politics, and more. This museum is an excellent way to incorporate diversity into any student tour of Washington D.C. and just about any curriculum.

Extensive African Photographs Available for Viewing by Student Groups
At the Museum, student travel groups will find over 350,000 items on display in the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, and that’s just one small portion of the Museum. Here students may also become familiar with the large number of African mosaics on display as well as rare sub-Saharan art on permanent loan from the Walt Disney-Tishman collection. In 2005 the Disney Foundation gave the museum 525 pieces of African art that includes a beautiful 19th century female figure carved from ivory. Since the 1960’s, this particular collection has greatly influenced the study of African art.

Artistic Dialogues Between African and African Diaspora in America
Also on display until January of 2016 is the Conversations exhibit where African art and artists are in conversation with African American art and artists. These contributions help celebrate the museum’s 50th anniversary, providing fruitful dialogue between Africa and the African diaspora. A few of the topics as part of the Conversations exhibit include “Spirituality, Power and Politics, Nature as Metaphor, and the popular Music and Urban Culture.”

Special Exhibitions
There is a special exhibition for the museum’s anniversary called “Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean.” The dance and music of the Omani people from East Africa are celebrated. The Al Najoom Dance Troupe is one of the most talented dance groups of Oman and they have been performing for over fifteen years, telling audiences the rich history of their culture through movement and sound. The dances they share are used for religious ceremony as well as everyday life.

Maya Angelou’s Legacy is Celebrated by Museum
The Smithsonian’s mission statement is, “To inspire conversations about the beauty, power, and diversity of African arts and culture worldwide.” The recent death of African American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has been on the minds of museum curators and staff. Not long before her death the poet had a public conversation with the museum director Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole. You can view that conversation online at this link:

Online Resources for Student Tour Leaders Preparing to Go to D.C.
Students and faculty can enjoy glimpses at the permanent collection and peek at upcoming traveling exhibitions online at this link: At the bottom right corner of the Home Page look for the “Radio Africa” link. Students can listen to this 24-hour radio program curated by the museum staff, sampling music from every corner of the African continent. Contact a student travel professional to arrange student group docent-led tours, or signup the class for workshops like the quilt collage workshop. There are also online galleries of student artwork made in the museum workshops or back at home in the classroom after returning from the museum tour.

The National Museum of African Art originally opened its doors with the help of Warren Robbins in June of 1964 in a townhouse that was the home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Today it stands a world-class museum with visitors from every corner of the globe, helping place Africa at the center of conversation on the origins of humanity. On display until September, 2015 is a commemorative exhibition: Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria. These historic photographs did a marvelous job documenting the rituals and regalia of the court for more than fifty years, and provide a historical record of studio photography in West Africa. There has never been a better time to bring the class to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

For more information on creating a student travel itinerary of Washington D.C. that includes a visit to the National Museum of African Art, visit

Washington DC Cathedrals Premiere Destinations for Catholic Student Travel Groups

by Howard Clemens

For Catholic student travel groups, Washington D.C. cathedrals offer some of the most historical and beautiful tourist sites in the nation—and, many say, the world. Washington’s cathedrals are architectural marvels, modeled after the great churches of Europe and comparable to them in grandeur and craftsmanship. Every year, the city’s cathedrals welcome thousands of tourists and student travel groups looking for an historical and spiritually enlightening experience. Below are some of the city’s most awe inspiring and famous buildings.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, built in a magnificent Romanesque-Byzantine style, is one of the ten largest churches in the world, and the largest Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. and North America. Among many other features, it is famous for its brilliantly colored and detailed mosaics, as well as its 70+ oratories and chapels. It also boasts the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art in the world. The Basilica has been visited by countless luminaries over the years, including Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. It is open all year round, and offers a wealth of traditional ceremonies for students to experience, including daily masses and ceremonies. The Shrine welcomes thousands of visitors per year, including many student travel groups, and it remains a favorite destination for students from all over the world. Teachers and students can get a preview of the remarkable sights that await them by visiting the Basilica’s official website and taking a virtual tour.

Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral has been host to a dazzling array of historical events, including Martin Luther King’s last sermon and Theodore Roosevelt’s 1907 speech, which dovetailed with its opening in the same year. Known as “a spiritual home for the nation,” the cathedral is notable for its exquisite design and interior. There is a sculpture of Darth Vader up in its northwest tower—the result of a children’s sculpture contest sponsored by National Geographic magazine in the Star Wars heyday of the 1980s. A blend of the ancient and the contemporary have made this beautiful structure a fun and popular destination for student travel groups for decades. The cathedral also offers a series of educational programs and lectures. Some of the sessions include meals and discussion.

The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

The Italian-Renaissance style Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle opened in 1840. Among other things, it is famous for being the site of John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963, and contains a plaque memorializing the late president. The cathedral itself is built in the form of a 155 cross, with a dome of 190 feet. The building seats one thousand people and is as renowned for the majesty of its holiday ceremonies as it is for being one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. With its large seating capacity, this cathedral is ideal for student travel groups looking to experience the beauty of traditional ceremonies, like the St. Anthony Novena, held on Tuesday evening, and the Miraculous Medal Novena, held on Wednesday evenings.

Student travel group leaders can plan a trip that includes a tour of the main cathedrals in Washington D.C. and include a list of other destinations, too.  Select from the many museums, galleries, monument tours, and historical sites to add to an itinerary. Student trips focused on government may visit the White House and Capitol if they want to experience the full spectrum of the city’s variety. Washington D.C. is the birthplace of the nation.  It is also a great place for students to get a feel for the elaborately built and famous cathedrals, built by master craftsman.  A cathedral tour can certainly help students connect with religion and help them gain a keen sense of European influence and architecture.

Request a quote for a student tour of Washington D.C.

Following the Steps of History: A Student Trip to NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia & Gettysburg

For many students living faraway from the East Coast in other parts of the U.S., a student trip is often a once in a lifetime experience. Jason Fulton’s eight grade history students visit the East Coast each summer, departing from Azalea Middle School in Oregon. The educational objectives of the trip are to study the Revolutionary through the Civil War era.  Having his students explore the actual sites where this history took place is important to Fulton, “As we travel through time in the classroom, I focus on the many stops on our trip.  I want the students to understand the land before they walk on it,” commented Fulton.

Students Travel to Three Different States Discovering History

Fulton’s class trip occurs in the summer and includes a packed itinerary that takes students on a historical tour of three different states: New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  The student trip is seven days and five nights and includes a look at some of the most famous historical sites in the East, including Gettysburg, PA, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in New York City, and Mount Vernon in Virginia. This is just a sampling of historical places. This ambitious tour encompasses even more sites.

Active Learning Through Living History in Gettysburg

One of the favorite destinations for students on this school trip was Gettysburg. Here they toured the famous battlefields where there were a massive number of soldiers killed in both the Union and Confederate ranks. Fulton scheduled a ghost tour of Gettysburg for the group. Fulton remarked, “Kids love to be scared!  They also liked to walk the streets of Gettysburg since it too was part of the battlefield.”  The ghosts of Gettysburg helped to ignite their interest in history. So did their meeting with Abraham Lincoln, a living history actor.  “President Lincoln was a kick because of all the knowledge the actor has about Lincoln and the war,” said Fulton.  He said both of these active learning experiences were a great way to assimilate information about the Civil War from different perspectives.

Highlights of Student Tour of Washington D.C. Area

From Gettysburg, students traveled south to the Washington D.C. area.  On the way they visited Antietam Battlefield, Harpers Ferry and Arlington National Cemetery.  During a visit to Mount Vernon the next day, the student group participated in a ceremony where they laid a wreath on George Washington’s grave. “This is a big part of our trip,” said Fulton.  “We have been doing this for many years.  The kids learn how special they are when they lay the wreath.  It is awe inspiring for them.”

Students learn about American History through books, film and the World Wide Web. Yet when they actually have the opportunity to reach out and touch a place where history occurred it seems somehow more memorable.  Making a trip to the East Coast from Oregon for nearly a week takes a commitment of time and resources.  Fulton’s eighth grade students fund their own trips. For many, this opportunity to follow the steps of the great figures of Early American history is desirable, and helps to widen their understanding of the formation of the United States.

Request a Quote for a student trip, or email for more information.

College Tours in North & South Carolina

Many parents who want to send their children to college consider sending them to a university in their region or state. This decision helps cut down on travel and tuition costs while young adults are in college.  Taking advantage of educational opportunities in your region or state is a smart idea.

I am based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. I live and work in an area that is only 20 minutes from the South Carolina border.  I put this tour together for high school juniors and seniors because there are some wonderful institutions of higher learning right here in the Carolinas.  For the sake of conciseness and ease of transport for student groups, this tour represents my own short list of colleges I recommend — with ample travel time between destinations.  In my opinion, the schools I have selected are some of the most well known schools in the Carolinas.

Clemson University

Clemson is a large private University located in Clemson, S.C. near the North Carolina border.  There are almost 15,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students enrolled at Clemson University. Physical Sciences, Business and Engineering are the most popular majors.  The Clemson Tigers are notorious on the college football circuit for their orange colors and fierce competitiveness in the sport, as well as a devoted fan base.  The college campus dates to 1893 and was once Fort Hill plantation, the home of Thomas Clemson, the school’s founder and benefactor.  Clemson is rich in scenery, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Clemson University even has its own lake and forest.

University of South Carolina (USC)

USC is a large state university with a long tradition dating back to 1805. The main campus is in Columbia, SC.  Other locations include Beaufort, Aiken, and the Upstate (Spartantaburg-Greenville).  Four additional two-year campuses are located around the state. USC is becoming distinguished in nanotechnology, health sciences, Future Fuels™, and environment and information technologies.   The main campus in Columbia is well worth a visit. The campus has a horseshoe design with 11 historic buildings overlooking a lush lawn. USC has approximately 28,000 students enrolled. Nearly 20,000 of these are undergraduates.

North Carolina State University (NC State)

NC State is located in the heart of Raleigh, N.C. and has the attributes of an urban university.  Raleigh is the 2nd largest city in North Carolina, with over 400,000 residents. It has a solid reputation for industry and is a leading ‘tech hub’ in the U.S. NC State has over 31,000 students and close to 2,000 faculty members and serves a diverse student population.  The University offers students especially strong programs in agriculture, engineering, forestry, wood and paper science, textiles, veterinary medicine and design.  The Small Business and Technology Development Center has been housed at NC State since 1984 and provides assistance to business owners and entrepreneurs.

Wake Forest University

Located in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wake Forest University is a liberal arts university that is also known for research.  Wake Forest’s undergraduate school gives students a choice of 37 different majors covering business, divinity, law, medicine and other areas. With approximately 7,000 students, Wake Forest University offers the opportunities of a large university along with focused attention to academics and co-curricular activities.

Duke University

Duke is a well-respected school with world-class sports teams.  There are 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at Duke University.  Duke is in the heart of Durham, N.C. a city of approximately 200,000 people. With Duke University Hospital and research there, Duke attracts medical professionals and biotechnology industry leaders.   The Duke Chapel is seen in Gothic West Campus and is an icon for the University. Business, Divinity, Law and Medicine are some of the academic disciplines Duke is known for.  Duke’s Blue Devil men’s basketball team is usually a top competitor in College Basketball.  Duke and University of North Carolina are within a short distance of each other and can easily be visited in the same day.

University of North Carolina (UNC)

There are 16 schools within the UNC system in North Carolina. This tour visits the main campus at UNC Chapel Hill.  UNC has a rich colonial history. It was established in 1789, and was the first public university in a new country. U.S. News and World Report named it 5th best public university in the Best Colleges guidebook for 10 years in a row.  Student enrollment is 18,500 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students.  UNC has competitive admissions and most of their new enrollment is in the top 10% of their high school class.  UNC is known for its medical program, Kenan-Flagler Business School, and has distinguished faculty in the arts, humanities, social sciences, global affairs and diversity and multicultural affairs. A visit in the spring or fall is the perfect time to take in the campus and see it operating at full capacity.

It is evident there are some excellent universities in the Carolinas. Many of these universities, both public and private, are steeped in the Colonial tradition. European influences emphasized the intellect, higher education, and training in the professions. Students in their junior or senior year of high school will benefit from this tour of colleges in the Carolinas.

Visit for more information on college tours or email

An International School from the Bahamas Tours New York City

I recently worked with a teacher at an International School based in the Bahamas. Catherine Hindley organized a 6th and 7th grade trip to New York City. She teaches Humanities at Lucaya International School and course work includes the study of geography and history. Hindley decided to sponsor this class trip to widen students’ horizons about urban life in the United States.

Some Items on the Itinerary for a School Trip to NYC

Because of the Bahamas close proximity to Florida, Hindley’s students have been to the U.S., but “Many of our students have never experienced a big city before,” she remarked. New York City is certainly the city to explore.  “The Discovery of the Americas section of their history course was enhanced by their tour of the United Nations and also the Ellis Island tour, where we reenacted the processing of immigrants into the U.S.”  The school group learned about Broadway after a night out to see The Lion King.  The group also had a chance to visit Chinatown that same day — another fresh, new experience for many.

Learning Objectives for Student travel to New York

When asked about her educational objectives for the trip, Hindley said that “Exposing students to what they have seen on television, but have never experienced,” was one of the main objectives behind some destination choices. Sites visited included NBC Studios Tour, Radio City Music Hall, a Statue of Liberty cruise and shopping at Macy’s. Lucaya students gained insight into life in the States by sampling these American experiences and sites firsthand.

For some students, the best part of the tour was a visit to the United Nations.  Hindley was particularly interested in exposing her students to the Millennium Development Goals exhibition, “This ties in very well with work we cover in class,” said Hindley. The United Nations was one of the highlights of the tour for her and her students enjoyed the displays, too.

Class Spends a day at Six Flags NJ on Their Trip

For some students, the best part of the class trip was the day spent at Six Flags in New Jersey, a Great Adventure theme park.  “You have to realize that some of these students had never been to a theme park, because we have nothing like that here in the Bahamas,” said Hindley.

Hindley was impressed with the tour guide, Karen Goodman.  “She was very knowledgeable and was also flexible when we made a few changes.”

Security on School Trip a BIG Plus

Hindley was relieved to have security at the hotel. The security guard helped to separate her group of children from another rowdier group in close proximity.  “Our security was enough to get them to calm down,” she remarked.

There are many benefits to traveling with an educational travel company. ‘We are not that familiar with the city,” said Hindley, “and all the details were taken care of.  It was all very efficient and made for a totally stress free trip as far as we (the chaperones) were concerned.”

Learn more about an educational travel trip to New York City.  Tours can be focused on art, performance, history, social studies, eras in American history, and more.  Visit or email to request a quote.

College Tour of Ivy League Schools Designed for High School Juniors and Seniors

For some of the most brilliant high school students and their families, the achievement of an Ivy League education is a dream worth reaching for and one that is within grasp. The Ivy League’s highly competitive admissions standards and large tuition costs are daunting for many high school students in the process of applying to colleges.

Yet attending an Ivy League school is desirable for many students. Those students who are academically prepared for the Ivy League may want to take a campus tour of some of the top Ivy League schools before deciding upon where to make application.

Trip leaders will want to schedule Ivy League college tours in students’ junior or senior years. Students will receive a walking tour of the college campus and an overview of the history (and in some cases the admissions process). Visiting student groups may dine at the university or participate in other activities with the campus community, as time and scheduling allows.

This sample college tour is designed for the school group interested in touring the campus of half of the eight Ivy League Schools. Included on this particular tour are: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Harvard University

Harvard Square is the heartbeat of Boston, and it is the home of Harvard University. The university provides two different college tours: a tour on the history of Harvard and an undergraduate admissions tour. Groups can decide which is appropriate or may elect to take both. The university was established in 1636 and has a rich history that dates to English Settlement. With over 20,000 students and 2,000 faculty, Harvard serves a wide constituency. Some famous Harvard faculty include Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Stephen Greenblatt. Costs for undergraduate tuition are nearly $40,000 in 2010-11 academic year. Financial aid is available to students. Like other Ivy League Schools, Harvard provides a higher education for students of all means.

Princeton University

Established in 1746, Princeton University is located on 500 acres of land in central New Jersey. Princeton’s curriculum focuses on the study of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. With 7,500 students and approximately 1,100 faculty members, Princeton offers a 6:1 student to faculty ratio and a distinguished private education. Princeton’s famous faculty includes writer and Nobel Prize winner Tony Morrison. Alumni Eugene O’Neill was also a Princeton graduate and Nobel Prize winner. Former president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, was a student, professor, and one time president of Princeton University. Some highlights of the campus tour are Nassau Hall. Built in 1756 of local sandstone, Nassau Hall houses a faculty room that resembles the British House of Commons. Firestone Library, University Chapel, and Alexander Hall, were musical performances are held, are all architectural masterpieces students will visit on campus tour.

Yale University

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale’s campus is in the heart of an urban area. Yale has been established since the early 1700s. On a campus tour, students will see some excellent architecture from the Victorian Gothic to New England Colonial to contemporary designs. Known for its school of law, medicine, arts and sciences and elite graduate and professional programs, Yale University is an excellent choice for outstanding students. The school serves 11,000 students and employs 3,200 faculty members. Campus tours are scheduled ahead of time for groups of 10 or more, and include an orientation video, and an overview of Yale’s history and architecture.

University of Pennsylvania

The sprawling University of Pennsylvania campus has been located in West Philadelphia since the 18th Century, when Ben Franklin helped to found it. In 1791, The College of Philadelphia became the University of Pennsylvania. Today, Penn has over 25,000 students and 4,000 faculty. The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League School known for its emphasis on the liberal arts and its curriculum for the business student. Many Penn graduates seek careers in public service or the arts. The Annenberg School for Communication and the Wharton School of Business are known around the world. Penn’s culture is one that celebrates the international student. It is a campus known for its diverse atmosphere of learning. Located on Walnut Street, the campus district is also known as University City. A tour will showcase the historical architecture on campus, give students a feeling for campus life, facilities, classrooms and administration, and provide an overview of West Philadelphia.

High school students destined for college can benefit a great deal from college tours. Students travel to college campuses with their peers, learn about college life, and are given insight into the city or area where the university is located. Taking campus tours may motivate students to get started on the college application process.

Teachers, administrators and school group leaders need to plan college tours six months to one year ahead of time. Since college applications are due in February and March of the senior year, it is highly recommended that college tours be scheduled for the junior year of high school, or fall of the senior year. For more information on scheduling college tours visit