In the United States, study tours have been undertaken more and more in the realm of cyberspace, to the dismay of some teachers.
More and more of the study tours undertaken by American students take place in the realm of virtual reality, a fact which does not sit well with some of the country's more traditional educators.
While the higher prominence of virtual reality in classrooms helps schools work around budget cuts whilst opening a world of possibilities for study tours – which can now travel back in time to witness historic events, for example – it also makes it harder for traditional field trips to still make sense. In addition, tight budgets, much smaller than in the past, are causing school buses to be parked outside American schools, while inside students partake in computer-generated experiences.
As a way to maintain the traditional field trip alive, entities such as the National Park Association have been creating programmes, partly funded by the State, to facilitate student access to their locations. So far, the NPA's “Ticket To Ride” programme, created last October, has brought 40.000 out of a planned 100.000 students to the US's 40 national parks. Despite the relative success, however, officials still believe the methods at their disposal are not enough to meet the demand.
Another institution embarking in this type of initiative is the American Museum of Natural History, where the "Urban Advantage" programme has helped students increase their science marks for the past 10 years.
To learn more about study tours, contact School Travel Service at http://www.ststravel.co.uk or call them on 0870 240 6828.