Skip to main content

Travel is good for us, but do we need scientists to tell us so?

Among all the articles I shared on my Facebook page last week, one of them received substantially more attention than the rest from my network. This post reached three times more audience than the "least popular" update of the week. So, what was this popular article about?
It was a post published by Jordan Bishop on Forbes' website, entitled "Science Says Travel Makes You Smarter." In his discussion, Bishop summarized a few research studies and concluded "travel may actually make us smarter."
When I first read his discussion, I thought, "This seems like an interesting topic. Let me share it and see what people in my network think." I guess I had made the right decision if my goal was to get people's attention.
Yet, after I put more thought into the topic, I began to wonder why we need anyone to tell us (or to confirm for us) that travel is good for us. Let's see what Bishop summarized for us from three different studies:

Travel makes us smarter, but how?

  • A person's multicultural engagement — as measured in the extent to which this person adapts to and learns about new cultures  is positively related to the person's integrative complexity, meaning s/he would find it easier to hold multiple but conflicting viewpoints in mind when facing an issue. Furthermore, higher multicultural engagement will lead to higher number of offers a student gets at the end of school. (The sample of this study was a group of international MBA students).
  • Students who traveled abroad and were adapted to the foreign countries are more creative and better at solving problems than those who did not.
  • In another experiment, students were split into two groups and presented with the same task. One was told the task was created by "students studying abroad in Greece" and the other one was created by "local students in Indiana." The group that was told they were students studying abroad in Greece turned out to be more creative even without physically traveling to the foreign country.
To a large extent, the summary presented above provides some good evidence to support that studying abroad is good for students. Yet, I have to say ...

Studying abroad is different from traveling abroad

Studying abroad usually involves active and intensive learning activities during the time when a student lives overseas. Students can usually earn credits, a certificate or a degree from a study-abroad program.
Traveling abroad, however, does not necessarily involve any active or intensive learning activities, and it is usually less structured. Based on my observations as an academic advisor, I can name a few benefits from a good study-abroad program without referring to any empirical studies.
Benefits of studying abroad:
  • It allows students to experience a whole new world that is different from their comfort zone.
  • Students will become more appreciative for a diverse culture.
  • Students can develop better real-life problem-solving skills as they live in a foreign environment.
  • Students will make lifelong friends.
  • Students can possibly learn a different language.
  • A study-abroad program can broaden a student’s career opportunities.
Benefits of traveling abroad:
As a traveler myself, I am going to list some benefits here on top of my head, also without referring to any academic studies:
  • Travelers will develop skills in project management and event planning as they arrange the logistics of a trip.
  • Travelers will become more creative in solving unexpected problems in a trip.
  • Travelers can develop better problem-solving skills during a trip.
  • Travelers will learn how to better manage a budget and allocate funds to various activities, which can be applied to other life or work-related events in the future.
  • Travelers will appreciate a diverse culture (same as studying abroad).
  • Travelers can meet new friends in a trip and develop better interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Travelers will show a deeper appreciation for globalization, sustainability, and other social issues.
  • Travelers can become more confident and feel more comfortable when meeting strangers.
  • Travelers can learn something new, such as a new perspective or a new culture.
  • Travelers can find joy and fulfillment in a trip.
  • Travelers can get to know themselves better from a trip — and their friends, too, if they travel with friends.
  • Travelers often treasure life and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This list can go on and on. As a matter of fact, I am positive that anyone who reads this discussion can add more to the list. If so, please leave us a comment.
Now, back to the question I raised earlier: Do we need scientists to tell us, or to confirm for us, that travel is good? My answer is no.
I would rather see scientists producing more breakthrough research that helps us discover new knowledge, which a good university professor is supposed to do. What is your answer?
Note: This article was also published at MultiBriefs.com - the leading source for targeted, industry-specific news briefs. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Luxury vs. Millennials and Their Technology: The Ritz-Carlton (By Julia Shorr)

Embodying the finest luxury experience, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC has been established since 1983. In 1998, Marriott International purchased the brand offering it more opportunity for growth while being independently owned and operated. They are known for their enhanced service level as the motto states, “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. The luxury brand now carries 97 hotels and resorts internationally and is attempting to keep the aspects of luxury while keeping up with the trends of the technologically improving generations. The Varying Demographics of the Target Market The Ritz-Carlton’s typical target market includes: business executives, corporate, leisure travelers, typically middle-aged persons and elders, and families from the upper and upper-middle class section of society .   This infers a large range of types of travelers in which all are similar in that they are not opposed to spending extra for the luxurious ambiance. However, with

The challenges of SB 93 (California Senate Bill No. 93) will impose on the employers and their human resource management team (by Brittany Schaffer)

The COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020, and it has caused massive changes within a short period of time. One of the most rememberable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was that businesses had to come to a complete halt, forcing them to lay off employees. California's unemployment rates went up.  Now that the stay-at-home orders have lifted, people start to come out. Businesses are now reopening, looking to rehire their laid-off employees. Before the pandemic, employers had the option of recalling only a certain number of laid-off employees they would want to rehire based on employees' job performance. That option had been changed after Governor Gavin Newsome signed into law - Senate Bill 93, which went into effect on April 16th, 2021. The California Senate Bill No. 93 (SB 93) According to SB 93, companies in specific industries, mainly the hospitality industry, have the obligation to provide job opportunities in written form to qualified employees being laid off due to COVI

The complicated situation of tattoos in the workplace (by Harry Law)

Tattoos are a form of expression that convey the individuality of their owners. They can represent a multitude of things, like a tie to a family member, a favorite quote with a special meaning, or even a favorite cartoon character. Tattoos also can carry great cultural and/or religious significance. Every tattoo is unique and says something about the individual person who wears it. The problem that many companies face is when a tattoo is considered appropriate and when it should be covered.  Employees are after all the faces of a company, so the tattoos on their bodies are connected to and represent that company as well. Some workplaces have instituted rules and regulations when it comes to their employees’ tattoos, but there can be negative consequences when a company goes too far in telling their employees what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. The Disney Company has recently changed its policy on tattoos. Disney’s goal is to create a magical, fantasy experience for their