Throughout the ages, writers and thinkers have remarked upon travel as an educational tool that expands minds and inspires the human spirit. Educators agree – just look at all the listings for teacher exchanges – and HomeExchange asked some of its teacher-members their thoughts.

Educators were among the earliest advocates of home exchanging for its multiple benefits: cultural immersion, salary-affordable accommodation and flexibility in scheduling, and the chance to use vacation/holiday time to increase their knowledge base and develop new teaching tools.

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Today, a large percentage of the HomeExchange community remains professional teachers who travel the world and utilize their global insights to inspire students in the classroom. Exemplifying this trend are Ashley and Aaron, a teaching couple from Tennessee, USA. They acknowledge that teachers, generally, do have more time than average folks to travel – but they are limited by their income.

Ashley is a teacher and a Member of HomeExchange
Where there is a will to incorporate new experiences, rejuvenate through adventure, and integrate life-long learning – there is a way.

said Ashley, explaining that HomeExchange offered a welcome answer to the budget dilemma. In her classroom, she demonstrates her love of and commitment to travel by using podcasts – a favorite series being those of travel expert Rick Steves.

Joan and her family on a home exchange

Joan, a teacher from France, finds that her family’s home exchange experiences not only helps her in the classroom, but with her own children. One of the biggest benefits is language learning in real-life situations.

In France, we have a delay when it comes to learning foreign languages, especially with English. During a home exchange, the children are often faced with the need to speak English. Learning a foreign language as a means of communication with others becomes concrete and actually makes sense to them.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
St. Augustine

Valérie travel with HomeExchange while home schooling her son

Valerie, also from France, teaches her home-schooled son. She notes that for history, geography and science, there is no book required.

Instead we do the discovery with HomeExchange. Three weeks in Rome is a perfect way to feel the power of the Roman empire. In May, we spent 10 days in Greece; our little girl passionate for mythology was our guide. Such a happiness to discover Olympia in bloom!

Valerie goes on to say that Paris, with its museums, is perfect for studying sciences, and that the family’s upcoming journey to London will allow them to “immerse themselves in the language of Shakespeare.”

Caroline exploring France and Morocco with HomeExchange

Teacher Caroline clearly concurs. A musician from France, she enjoys the chance to go to other places and observe how education takes place. She, too, sees a more universal value to exchanging.

The more the teacher is ‘rich’ in knowledge, the more she/he can transmit passion to the students. The ideas and perspectives shared by the exchange partners are of great interest today, both economically and socially.
Gaudenzia loves to do home exchanges in Paris and taste new food!

It is the authentic experience that ‘speaks’ to students, according to Gaudenzia from Italy. A teacher in an enogastronomic (culinary) school, Gaudenzia works with students who are not wealthy. In fact, many of them have never been out of Sicily, so she uses her own international exchange experiences to give them a taste of the world and inspire them to become voyagers.

I tell them about Britain and its seafood and cider; about Burgundy and its wine and mustard.

And she tells them about her home exchanges.

All the best of the world is in your hand. Just open up your home, and your mind!
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