Relax! Your son/daughter will be fine. And not being able to reach them is part of the study abroad and learning experience.
At Natural Destinations we meticulously plan each and every study abroad tour. We utilize our long years of experience in the travel trade as well as our expert knowledge of the destinations visited to find the best suited accommodation establishments, ensure that the vehicles used are up to international safety standards and that in general all reasonable care and safety procedures are adhered to.
We have been planning trips and organizing travel to destinations in Southern Africa for over 20 years. Our office is located in Windhoek, Namibia and we regularly travel through-out most of the destinations that we offer in our study abroad programs and therefore have the ability to change programs as need be to enhance the student learning and travel experience.
Things to keep in mind:
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind, when considering to send your child on a study abroad programs organized by us:
- Africa usually has a far worse reputation than is justified: Yes, there are areas where there is hunger, riots, civil unrest and unhygienic conditions with massive health risks in Africa, but all of these are thousands of miles away from those areas, where we travel with the study abroad trips. From the initial planning stages to the final tour itself, we continuously monitor the health situation as well as the overall travel safety and we will not even consider to plan a study abroad trip to destinations where we feel neither the students nor our staff will be safe.
- Communications are limited: Southern Africa has made huge progress in the last few years regarding the coverage of mobile phone networks, general telecommunications and internet. But, the study abroad trips are often designed in such a way to take students off the beaten track and into remote areas, where sometimes neither internet nor telephones work. This means that it will probably happen that you might not hear from your child anything for a few days nor will there be any posts on social media. Please do not worry! This is normal! Before departure, all students receive a detailed list of all contact details through-out the trip. In case of an emergency we as local operator will always be reachable and can assist in any matter.
- Food: We love good and healthy food in Africa as much as everybody else in the world does. Yes, the food might be different to what your child is used to, but this is also part of the learning experience. Food plays a central role in every culture and to experience a new culture also entails trying their food.
- Animal encounters: One of the greatest things in Africa is the wildlife and you can be sure that all study abroad trips that we offer will have a wildlife component in it. Your child will probably get closer to an elephant than you would ever have hoped it would, but rest assured, we have trained guides and safari rangers who know exactly how to behave amongst wild animals and take all possible care to ensure the safety of your child.
- Guidance and education: You child will be in a completely new environment, both in terms of nature and landscapes as well as in terms of social factors. Learning from a different culture entails that your child is open to these new experience and is able to follow the guidance of our experts. This might entail that we have to set some social boundaries, which your child might not be used to from home. But, again, this is only to help your child understand different cultures better and also for our local communities to better understand your values and beliefs.
Greatest Experience Ever:
The study abroad trip will probably be the greatest experience possible for your child. Your son/daughter will grow as a person, learn how to interact with different cultures and will get experience in how to handle stress – all things which will help them on their future path through life, irrespective of the field of study or profession.