Accountability and Mindfulness to Our Global Community
As COVID-19 quickly changed our lives, it also strengthened our resolve to support one another, be mindful of our impact and embrace our Traveling School community. Two years into this global pandemic, we remain committed to our mission and discovered opportunity by developing a western US semester. The Traveling School continues to monitor how Covid-19 affects the international climate, by collaborating with peer organizations, following the advice of public health experts and prioritizing decisions with our students, faculty and international partners.
Covid-19 case numbers continue to fluctuate across the globe yet we are encouraged by the progress made from targeted preventive measures to vaccine campaigns to broader immunity and better understanding of the virus. As global travel restrictions loosen, borders re-open and more communities gain access to vaccines, we are optimistic about returning to international programming in the future.
Call our office to discuss questions and learn more. We’re in this pandemic together.
Where is The Traveling School offering programming for the 2022-2023 school year?
Both fall and spring semesters will explore the western US, traveling nearly border to border through Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. Check out our western US page for more details
Can The Traveling School still offer a meaningful academic semester if it can’t go overseas?
Yes! The magic of The Traveling School lies within each group of students and faculty. We recognize international travel is powerful, as it encourages us to open our eyes to global issues, and we’re heartbroken about how this global pandemic has altered our ability to visit our dear friends in South America and southern Africa. As a silver lining, our academic philosophy has no geographical boundaries, we can explore relevant themes in any location using Traveling School place-based curriculum. By learning about complexities in the United States first, students can use a critical lens to analyze parallel themes occurring globally. In a way, we will reverse the magnifying glass by looking at issues in our communities first. The location is not what makes The Traveling School, it is our emphasis on relevant, place-based experiential education combined with limited technology, strong female mentorship, relationship and confidence-building through academics, outdoor pursuits, community engagement and leadership development.
When will The Traveling School resume international semester programming?
Our school must think and plan a year in advance which leads us to move with intention and caution as we contemplate a semester on the move through different communities and regions. This means each August we must assess programming feasibility in our semester locations and remain mindful of our impact in the areas where we travel and interact. We remain patient and hopeful through these times.
How will TTS decide when to return to international semesters?
We continue to monitor and assess programming feasibility using three primary considerations alongside our organizational capacity to plan, prepare and implement a semester with confidence.
- International Travel – Current global and country specific travel restrictions must relax and become more predictable – travel advisories, country entry requirements, quarantine requirements, Covid transmission rates and flight availability – before The Traveling School considers international programming. As well, we will consider the infrastructure and available support in each county.
- Host Country Conditions – The Traveling School values cultural interactions by engaging with communities, people and places, and we cannot do this while shelter in place and social distancing policies remain in effect. While we have implemented new health and safety precautions, we need to be able to facilitate interactive and engaging experiences and minimize risk to communities and students. As well, we need to assess the change in infrastructure and access to public health. The Traveling School remains open to changing our regular itineraries.
- Home Country Conditions – The Traveling School Office and the majority of our students are based in the United States. While state requirements vary, we can be nimble in the western US in a way that isn’t possible in other countries. We evaluate country conditions for our international students on a case-by-case basis to understand travel restrictions associated with COVID-19.
These three factors express a simplified risk analysis checklist we consider as we adapt our programming and choose our semester locations for the upcoming school year. We remain vigilant to the health and well-being of our students, faculty and overseas partners. For these reasons, The Traveling School would not hesitate to cancel or modify a program due to travel restrictions or compromises to the safety of our group.
How will TTS decide which regions and when to resume international semesters?
The Traveling School remains optimistic that international programming will be feasible soon. While travel restrictions evolve, we must be patient for situations to stabilize at home and abroad. Our program locations will be determined by COVID-19 and how able and willing regions are to re-open and engage with travelers. We will continue to assess the viability of travel to communities near and dear to TTS throughout southern Africa and South America. As well, we will remain open to exploring new areas or re-connecting with places we haven’t recently traveled. Inherent risk will remain a determining factor for Traveling School programs, and we must be prepared for new risks associated with the outcome of this global pandemic. The factors described above will continue to guide our international programming decisions.
What is The Traveling School’s Covid-19 vaccine policy?
We strongly recommend all students and teachers be fully vaccinated prior to the semester. A semester with 100% of teachers and students fully vaccinated for Covid-19 increases everyone’s chance of staying healthy and minimizes programming stress around potential exposure within the group. Additionally, Covid-19 vaccination proof is required by some of the locations and partners we aim to visit, stay and work with; non-vaccinated students may miss out on key experiences and may be liable for costs associated with individualized care plans.
The Traveling School plans to empower teenage girls for years to come. We will remain flexible to meet today’s challenges and look forward with optimism to building new connections with empathy and compassion to bring us closer together. We recognize it will take time to gain perspective and encourage you to stay in touch, be transparent and communicate with our team. We are here to support you, answer questions and share a transformative semester with you!