Planning an educational tour to Russia can be an extremely daunting task for many teachers. However, it is an incredibly rewarding experience when done properly, giving you and your students many opportunities for personal development and intellectual growth.
In saying this, let’s first dive into the benefits of embarking an educational tour to Russia. Then, we’ll move into a step-by-step guide on how to plan one for your school!
Travelling to Russia in particular has its many benefits – it is an incredibly unique destination for students studying all different kinds of subjects from history, languages, music and literature to performing arts. Few countries can rival Russia for its world-defining roles within history (from the age of empires, through to WWI and WWII, the Soviet Era and the Cold War).
Similarly, Russia’s contribution to classical music and opera, ballet, visual art, architecture, science and literature makes it a fascinating country to study these subjects, in the very place where some of the country’s greatest cultural and historical milestones unfolded.
56th Parallel’s educational tours focus on Moscow and St Petersburg, with the option to add a tour of the historic Golden Ring cities departing from and returning to Moscow.
These ‘city overview’ style tours will ensure your students get to experience all of the must-see landmarks and attractions of the cities, paired with education focused commentary from our expert Tour Guides, as well as hands-on experiences and entertaining activities to ensure your trip as enjoyable and memorable as possible.
If you’re looking to focus in-depth on a particular subject, 56th Parallel is more than happy to help you design a custom itinerary relevant to your students’ needs.
For subject-based educational tours to Russia, here’s what we can offer:
It’s no secret that overseas educational trips can be life-changing for those involved, from enhanced one’s interpersonal skills to gaining amazing cross-cultural insights.
Educational tours to Russia will also make students have a greater appreciation for learning beyond the classroom and integrate a real-world experiential component to your school curriculum.
Real world experience engages both the intellect and the senses, adding another layer of meaning on top of what has already been learned in the classroom. This in turn boosts motivation and helps students grasp difficult concepts and retain knowledge.
Not only are overseas school trips fun, they expose students to different cultures and help grow confidence and resilience as they learn to adapt to social situations.
Critical thinking is about active learning through reasoning. Studies show critical thinking is one of the most highly regarded traits among professional employers. Educational tours to Russia encourage critical thinking in a multitude of ways, including problem solving (e.g. navigating cultural differences, money, food and transportation), creativity, group and individual decision making and communication (both verbal and non-verbal). These are all relevant to the different subject areas of music, visual arts, literature, etc.
A person’s worldview defines how they interact and interpret virtually everything around them. That worldview hopefully expands over time through an accumulation of life experiences. Travelling on an overseas school trip to Russia exposes students to different cultural perspectives, allowing them to gain a wider understanding of the world’s diversity. This means a greater respect for Russia’s historical contributions/achievements and a realisation on how we as humans are different in some ways, we are alike in so many others.
An educational tour to Russia is a powerful bonding experience. As a group, you’ll go through the same good times and adventures together, as well as bond together to face the same challenges. It’s not just the students whose friendships will be strengthened through travelling together. School trips are also a great way for teachers to get to know their students better, build rapport and benefit from better teacher-student relationships once you return home. This bond can manifest in the classroom, where the teacher’s enthusiasm of Russian history/culture is also reflected in the students.
Travelling to another country can immensely build one’s confidence. When embarking on a life-changing journey across Russia’s capitals and venturing into new, exciting activities, students will be more inclined to take risks, step out of their comfort zones and acquire greater independence. This will undoubtedly translate into stronger leadership abilities as they learn how to engage in decision-making and problem-solving, especially in unfamiliar situations, such as Russian language workshops, historical tours and sporting activities.
Educational tours to Russia not only provide an amazing alternative to learning outside the classroom, they also give unique opportunities for students in undertaking new experiences related to their subject/coursework. From building their language skills, learning about the Russian Tsar Dynasty and Soviet era, attending world-class opera theatres, to participating in fun Russian cultural festivities or sporting events, your students will be surrounded with enriching, unforgettable moments that can be cherished forever with peers/friends.
There is nothing better than being genuinely engaged and motivated in the whole learning process. When a student takes an overseas school trip to Russia to learn about their relevant subject area, they will absorb information much more easily and be more receptive to their educational needs beyond the classroom. This is because educational tours add a fun and practical component to the students’ curriculums, giving them real-world experiential learning. This will make them have a greater appreciation for Russia’s history, culture and traditions.
Leading an educational tour to Russia is not only super beneficial for the students, it is also a fantastic way to demonstrate leadership qualities and responsibility as a teacher/advisor. There is no doubt that your colleagues and future employers will be heavily impressed with your initiative to take the students’ learning beyond a typical classroom setting. By skilfully applying the curriculum outside the school and integrating this into a new culture, there are great opportunities to create a memorable learning experience.
So you’ve done your research and decided to partner with a tour operator who’ll ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible once your students land at the airport.
Let’s say you’re planning a overseas school trip to Russia and you’ve chosen to tour with 56th Parallel.
Our involvement in making sure your trip is a success begins the moment you decide to partner with us.
Your Tour Coordinator is your point of contact who will work with you throughout the entire process from the initial planning stage through to designing and refining the perfect Russian itinerary and providing support during and after your stay in Russia.
Once you’ve confirmed your booking for the educational tour, we’ll send you a confirmation pack including an initial booking form requesting some basic information about your trip – nothing needs to be exact at this point, just your best estimate.
Would you like to choose from one of our pre-existing educational tours to Russia (amendments to accommodation, activities etc. can be made as needed) or work with us to create a completely customised tour to best suit your students’ needs?
Do you have any specific requirements in regards to accommodation, e.g. cost, standard, location, room sharing arrangements?
Do you have any ‘must sees’ or ‘dos’ we should prioritise if possible (in case of any changes to the itinerary out of our control)
The date and duration of your trip needs to work around your school’s calendar to avoid conflicting with exams, assessment periods or any other important events in the school year. For teachers who will attend the trip, you also need to determine how many days they can afford to take off.
As a guide, you can consider organising the travel departure during the Australian school holidays in between the four terms. If you can depart a few days before the beginning of the school holidays and return after the commencement of a new term, you can save more time and are likely to find cheaper, great-value flights.
Setting an appropriate budget should take into account what your students’ parents can realistically afford.
Trip duration generally has the most significant effect on budget. Obviously, shorter educational trips are more affordable, but remember to take travel time into account as well.
Since there are no direct flights from Australia to Russia, the typical travel time between Sydney or Melbourne and Moscow is around 24 hours. Meaning a 7 day itinerary actually requires being away for 9 days.
We recommend a 7 day itinerary at minimum – anything shorter doesn’t offer great value once you factor in airfares and additional days in transit.
The majority of our educational tours to Russia take place in the Moscow region and St. Petersburg. The peak travel season of June through to August is the warmest part of the year for both cities, so you can expect flight and accommodation costs to be high during this time.
You may want to consider the cheaper, shoulder seasons of April and September. During these months, crowds are fewer and there are still plenty of mild, sunny days, and even at night. temperatures very rarely dip below zero. Conveniently, these months also fall within Australian school holiday periods.
While Moscow and St Petersburg are spectacular in winter, it does get extremely cold. Students with little experience of sub-zero temperatures might take some time to adjust, so generally, winter isn’t very well suited to education-focused trips.
56th Parallel offers a versatile range of amazing student tours in the Russian capitals of Moscow and St Petersburg. Our pre-existing educational tours are packed with incredible learning opportunities that cover history, visual arts, politics, architecture, literature, dance and music.
Choosing your ideal tour to Russia involves some considerations such as school budget, staff support, students’ learning objectives and parents’ socioeconomic circumstances – this can lead to some compromises. For example, you might want to join with other faculty/subject teachers to create a cross-curricular tour, or choose a cheaper destination.
Depending on subject-specific curriculums or independent school learning outcomes, our tour programs can be modified to suit your needs. This flexibility will give your students a magnificent travel experience which improves their engagement to the syllabus. These changes can include extra classes, workshops, activities, destinations, etc.
We specialise in creating 100% customised tours for our clients, and the same goes for designing tailored trips that cater to specific subjects and areas of interest you and your students would like to focus on.
We can organise tours to all destinations in Russia covered by 56th Parallel, not just Moscow and St Petersburg. If you’d like to design your own bespoke educational tour, we’ll send you a custom trip planning form so you can indicate the “must see” sites you’re already set on, as well as general areas of interest which will allow us to make further suggestions based on what’s most important to you.
Using this framework, we’ll work with you to design a custom itinerary day-by-day, taking into account timeframes, costs and logistics. This way, we can ensure your itinerary that’s befitting of your needs, as well as being practical, hassle-free and offering plenty of bang for your buck.
We understand how important cost is in terms of getting approval from your school and giving as many students as possible the chance to join the school trip of a lifetime.
When submitting your proposal to the school, the budget can often be a sticking point. While we prepare an initial quote, if budget is a big concern, let us know and we can make recommendations on ways to keep costs to a minimum without detracting from the quality of your trip. For example, booking shared accommodation, economical transport options and finding the cheapest available flights for you.
Once you’ve hashed out a fantastic itinerary, we’ll provide you with a quote per student (based on the itinerary as it currently stands, and the approximate number of students expected to attend).
We’ll provide you with all the relevant resources to allow you to demonstrate the educational value and learning outcomes of your proposed trip to Russia.
In addition to an inspired presentation on the destination itself, you must ensure that your overseas school trip to Russia complies with all legal requirements (including health, safety and welfare) and additional school 56th Parallel will equip you with the essential documentation you’ll need to ensure your trip gets the school’s stamp of approval. These include:
Be thorough, be realistic and ensure you have all your bases covered. Essentially, your proposal should cover two are as in detail:
Be enthusiastic but realistic, cover all your bases thoroughly, and you have a good chance of getting the go ahead.
We’ll provide you with information packs and promotional materials, so everything’s on hand to start getting students excited about your Russian adventure.
The main reason overseas school trips fail to get off the ground is lack of numbers. You’re asking parents to commit a significant sum towards this trip, so it’s important that both students and parents understand the educational value of such a commitment.
Here are the key reasons to promote your educational tour:
How to approach recruiting students for an overseas school trip to Russia depends a lot on their age and maturity.
University students and those studying a specialised field within academia or the arts will, with the right information in their hands, instinctively understand the value of a relevant, well thought-out itinerary.
Promoting to high school students, especially when they’re wholly dependent on their parent’s financial backing, will take a little more effort on your part.
It is highly recommended that you create expressions of interest and invite students to attend. Then, you can promote the tour around school such as during assembly, newsletters, whiteboards and bulletins/pin-up wall areas. Get other teachers to share this information with their own students too.
We’ll supply you with plenty of marketing material on Russia and Russian culture and the sights and activities within your itinerary. As well as info packs they can take home to their parents, we’ll supply you with all media for preparing a slideshow or video to show students when you make your big announcement.
The language used to advertise your trip to students is quite different to the way you communicate with parents.
While students will certainly want to know how jetting off to Russia will benefit their studies, what most of them will most look forward to is getting out of the classroom and having a great time with friends.
So, get your students excited, start creating a buzz in the classroom, on social media and other communication channels. If you can recruit a few “early adopters” they become advocates who encourage others to get on board.
As soon as you announce your educational tour to Russia, give students letters to take home outlining the most important details of the trip. Set a date for an information evening, strongly encouraging all parents to attend.
Promote the event through your school’s communication channels, particularly social media.
Hosting an information evening for parents and students is essential. As well as giving you the chance to show off a live presentation, these evenings provide an ideal forum for parents to ask questions and ensure they have all the details and assurance they need to make a decision.
As the lead supervising teacher, this is your chance to prove how responsible, well-informed and passionate you are about your students’ education.
Parents will be quite focused on safety and supervision, as well as payment options offered by the school, so make sure you have suitable responses and take-home materials on hand.
Enthusiastic parents can become great advocates, so it’s important to make them feel informed, empowered and positive.
Make use of social media to keep the buzz going. This is also a great way for parents to ask questions and communicate any concerns with the team at 56th Parallel directly.
Social media is also a great way for kids and parents to keep in touch during the trip, as students will no doubt be posting videos and selfies to show off to family and friends back home.
Some schools may have their own websites, newsletters, educational portals (for emails) and apps (notifications), so make sure to use these marketing channels to your advantage to reach both students and parents.
It is really important that you are adequately prepared prior to your departure to Russia. This means that all travel information should be confirmed with your tour coordinator so that they can properly organise the educational tour. Here’s a pre-departure checklist of essential items and considerations.
Other essential preparations include briefing both teachers and students on their responsibilities when travelling abroad.
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, teachers should have a solid understanding of the school travel itinerary and destinations, the dietary and medical requirements of the students, safety/evacuation procedures and keeping the group on schedule. Knowing group management strategies and identifying potential risks/hazards during the journey is critical.
For students (and parents), it is important that you schedule a pre-departure meeting to run through their own responsibilities during the educational tour. This can include: departure times and meeting points, luggage requirements, student code of conduct and curfew times, destination information and general travel tips.
Finally, preparing the mindset of the students is highly recommended. Many of them are leaving home for the first time and travelling to a completely foreign environment. That’s why familiarising your students with the Russian local customs, cultural differences and laws is a great way to prepare them in settling within the new country.
You can do this by highlighting amazing facts about the destination and providing relevant educational resources. Additionally, offering advice on how to deal with homesickness and discomfort can make them feel more reassured, along with introducing them to other group members to build camaraderie.
56th Parallel is an independent travel company with offices based in Sydney and Moscow. We specialise in just one country (although it could be argued that Russia is many countries in one!) and we’ve been running small group and private tours there since 2002.
After years of exploring and falling in love with the country, we realised there were very few reliable, English language options available for travellers seeking high quality tours in Russia.
As well as offering a unique selection of tour itineraries and custom trips, we set out to become destination experts and a world-class resource for detailed information regarding travel in Russia. Our founders have deep and longstanding relationships with Russia. We use our cultural understanding and our network of professional connections throughout the country to provide a seamless end-to-end travel service and a truly immersive, truly Russian experience.
Organising an overseas school trip is a complex task. That’s why 100% of the organisation and logistics are done by us. We work with you to find or design an itinerary to fit your curricular needs, time and budget, help arrange visas (for Australian passport holders only) and insurance and book all accommodation, transport and activities. We understand the importance of risk management and we’re committed to the safety and wellbeing of your students, providing around-the-clock support through our Sydney office and on-the-ground staff.
We work with trusted, professional and enthusiastic Tour Leaders in Russia with in-depth insights into Russian history, art and culture. For education students wanting to focus on a particular subject, such as war history, literature, classical music or dance, our Tour Leaders work together with expert local guides with specialised knowledge in their field.
With our extensive knowledge and outstanding services, we are a fully licensed, bonded, insured and accredited travel provider. Our business is a member of AFTA, CATO, ATAS and ATTA.
Organising an educational tour to Russia isn’t easy. But with 56th Parallel, we can help you in the entire planning process from start to finish!
More importantly, we can provide your students with the most immersive travel experiences to stimulate their academic engagement, build their confidence and develop appreciation for Russian culture. Don’t hesitate – book with us now!
If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816