Virtual Reality Field Trips to Pakistan
Schools from around the world are giving their students the opportunity to take virtual reality field trips to Pakistan.

Two Austin-based companies, PenPal Schools and Chocolate Milk & Donuts, partnered together to create global interactions through virtual reality. PenPal Schools connects over 100,000 students in 170 countries. Its Pakistan virtual field trip program has connected 2,000 students from 17 different countries.

PenPal School organized participating students into small groups, often made of one Pakistani student and three students from different countries. Through virtual reality, Pakistani students acted as local guides to the other students. The groups then worked on assignments and projects that showcased what they learned about the country.

The virtual reality field trips to Pakistan mainly take place in the city of Lahore. Using a virtual reality headset and  videos with 360-degree views, students learn about the history and culture of Pakistan. Pakistani history, sports, education and rising artists are some of areas students get to explore.

The virtual reality field trips to Pakistan aim to provide connections with Pakistani people that were not available before. They are intended to give children from around the world the opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of the country and its people.

The program hopes these connections will dispel misconceptions about the people of Pakistan, especially following the 2017 U.S. travel ban of citizens from some Muslim countries. “It’s more important than ever to build understanding and eliminate fear,” says Founder of PenPal Schools, Joe Troyen.

The field trips illustrate a perspective of Pakistan that is not often shown. Pakistan is routinely portrayed in the media as dangerous and unstable. PenPal Schools personalizes Pakistan, giving voice to its citizens and showing the country’s beauty.

Following the success of the virtual reality field trips to Pakistan, PenPal Schools is hoping to develop other virtual reality field trips. The company want to create even more opportunities for students to experience meaningful connections with people from all corners of the global community.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr