We know all of our itineraries are teacher-approved—because educators help us build them! Along with our detail-loving team of world travelers, subject-matter specialists, and locals, we involve teachers at every stage of EF’s tour development process. From joining us to scout out new destinations, to previewing trips before students ever set foot on them, to providing detailed feedback on their student travel experiences in real time—teachers are the people who help make sure our itineraries are both rooted in experiential learning and the right fit for their students.
For example, see how we partnered with agriculture educator Jessica B. to create (you guessed it!) a tour that’s centered on agriculture in Ireland today.
Q: How did you first get connected with EF?
A: I first got involved with EF because a teacher at my high school travels with EF—I had actually gone on two different tours with her. I’m an agriculture teacher, and I thought it would be neat to take kids to Ireland to see agriculture production there.
Q: Why did you feel it was important to create an agriculture tour?
A: I wanted my kids to see different aspects of agriculture, not just in the United States or in Georgia. I wanted them to see it from a different country’s standpoint. A lot of kids in my school system don’t leave our county. They’re very “homebody.” So I wanted to look for an opportunity for them to get out and go. I’m an advocate for traveling, for kids to explore.
Q: Did you look into planning your trip with another travel provider, or did you know you wanted to stick with EF from the beginning?
A: I had already traveled with EF, and, when I traveled to Belize as a chaperone, I really liked how safe we felt as a group. I liked how EF had everything planned, so I didn’t have to give it any thought once the trip started. I was sold from the first time I went.
Q: How did you help throughout the tour creation process?
A: At the time, I was planning a custom-designed agriculture tour in Ireland just for my students. I researched things I thought would be neat for my students to see in Ireland. I started looking up different farms or some of the main commodities that the country produces. From my end, I had to look at things that I wanted my kids to experience—like, I wanted them to see a sheepdog trial, because Ireland is very well known for their wool production.
Then, I’d speak to my person at EF, and she’d do the legwork to see if what I’d found was possible. I came up with the ideas of what I wanted my kids to see and experience, and she was the one to make it happen.
Q: How does it feel knowing a tour you originally planned just for your students is now available to everyone?
A: I’m so excited! I love that it opens the door for other agriculture teachers to take their students on these kinds of opportunities. Also, I felt really good about my private tour—but I looked at EF’s new Agriculture in Ireland tour, and it’s even better.
Q: How do you think agriculture tours like this one can help prepare students for the future?
A: I think it’s going to allow them to see agriculture beyond what they see at home or what they’ve learned in the classroom. A lot of students who come into my program, they’re not from a farming background. So for my students to be able to see production in another country, I think it will open their eyes up to see that it’s not just, “Agriculture is agriculture.” It’s different in other countries.