It is impossible to deny the educational and learning potential for students found in a school tour to any foreign location. The direct exposure to their subject matter turns the art of learning into a life experience that goes way beyond the typical activities of academia. In addition to the invaluable learning opportunity that travelling provides in somewhat more exotic locations, such as Marrakech, young learners also get a truly once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience along the way.
Marrakech is a stunning location to visit and is particularly relevant for Geography students. The unique terrain of the Atlas Mountains offers those on a school tour the opportunity to investigate desertification, geology and irrigation alongside the effects of a growing tourism trade. The Reryha River, near the town of Imlil, also gives students the chance to study water quality and downstream changes. This natural phenomenon is an interesting comparison to the manmade Lake Takerkoust, which is an excellent example of a source of hydroelectricity and the process of irrigation.
A World Away From Home
However, beyond the wealth of subject related study opportunities, Marrakech offers a world of lifetime experiences for many young people. The stark cultural differences, and a few similarities, between this Moroccan city and the West is uniquely captured in the Medina market. All the different sights, smells, food and human interactions of Marrakech are captured in this bustling market every day. This microcosm of modern tourism intermingling with tradition is a feast for the sensations, with souvenir vendors rubbing shoulders with barbers, restaurants, mechanics and other businesses, and all culminating in an eclectic array of colours, sounds and scents.
Learning the Process
It is not the destination alone that will make the most profound impact on a student’s learning opportunity and life experience. For some this may be the first time they have travelled abroad; the process involved with navigating airports, flying and going through immigration and customs is an important learning experience in itself. Organizers of any school tour abroad should make every effort to involve their students in the logistical requirements of modern day travel. It is also interesting to see the cultural differences between the way issues around airport security and processing are handled from country to country.
A Different Cultural Experience
Marrakech is an exciting destination for a school tour for those young people hoping to see the way geography, and its supporting subjects, truly affects our everyday lives – both at home in more exotic environs. Marrakech is also ideal for students to enjoy a completely different cultural experience to anything they may have been exposed to before. The western world has certainly made its mark on this progressive Moroccan city, but the ancient traditions and values still remain and are interestingly exercised alongside what might be seen as more modern values and practices.