An old Chinese proverb says that traveling ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand books.

While I would never discourage reading, which gives us knowledge that our ancestors gained over centuries, traveling is an equally indispensable method for young people to better understand the world.

At Morgan Park Academy, students frequently explore off campus and throughout the Chicago area, including national and international travel for students in grades 7-12.

>> READ MORE: GLOBAL WEEK 2018

Here are a few of my favorite benefits that travelers of all ages experience:

Traveling allows us to experience firsthand the varieties of the real world and multiple cultures.

Traveling teaches us how to change ourselves, as we have to break our routine and get out of our daily comfort zone to face the upcoming challenges in the travel.

Traveling teaches us how small we are and how big the world is.

Traveling teaches us how other people live and thus enlarges our tolerance of different cultures by immersing ourselves in their culture, feeling their life, and breaking misconceptions.

Traveling teaches us about dreams and how to realize them.

And one last one, my personal favorite — traveling allows us to try lots of delicious foods from different places!

We are so excited to find out what MPA students and teachers see, learn, and experience in their travels this school year!

>> READ MORE: CHICAGO MAGAZINE LAUDS MPA GLOBAL PROGRAM


By Heng Zhao

Dr. Zhao teaches Mandarin and directs global studies for the Upper School.