Twenty Traveling School alumnae from TTS33, TTS34 and TTS35 just graduated high school. Join us in celebrating them!
Additionally, a few of these TTS’ers used their semester experiences to inspire their college application essays. Read some of their profound reflections below.
Fort Lewis College
New York University
“When I first showed up to The Traveling School, I didn’t know “where I was from,” so when I was asked to write an “I am from” poem as my English midterm, I was stumped. I stayed up late in my tent at night with my headlamp on writing and rewriting lines, aimlessly attempting to string together moments that defined me. I ended up turning in a poem that failed to capture who I was, because, to put it simply, I didn’t know.”
“…I had not been alone on this journey. When I moved into this new home I also joined a community of other amazing young women. Our semester together in South America helped us grow from a group of seventeen strangers into a sisterhood.”
“During my semester in South America, I was pushed beyond my comfort zone on a daily basis, which further developed my appetite for new experiences and an urge to explore different cultures. My classes, which were experiential and place-based, provided me with the space to grow and learn in new ways. Comparing the flavors of edible ants in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, discussing Pizarro’s conquest while exploring ancient Incan ruins outside Cusco, Peru, and observing the glacial striations hiking through the Bolivian Andes, ignited a hunger for learning that I hadn’t felt before.”
“At 16, I knew that if I was committed to living my dreams, nothing was going to stop me. I don’t want my life to be defined by my struggles or shortfalls. I hope I always push myself to experience failure and adversity and still learn to love the journey.”
“Even months after returning home and being able to reflect, the extremity of how I developed and grew as a young woman during my time abroad astounds me. Standing in that bathroom, staring into the eyes of an individual whom I barely recognized as myself, was the first time I’d been confronted with how breathtaking change can be. The set in my shoulders was firmer, my back straighter, and my gaze was unwavering.”
“What unfolded as I traveled through Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa changed my identity and my values.
I learned life skills like personal reflection, organization, and research. I realized how much I value an intimate learning environment with deep conversations, critical thinking, curiosity and meaningful connections. I learned that it’s just as possible to learn academics while sitting on top of a sand dune with a whiteboard and notebook, as you can in a traditional classroom.”
“Education is the most powerful tool for change. What can we expect from future generations if we don’t empower them to question mistakes of the past?”
“For four months I explored parts of the world that I never knew and learned things that cannot be taught in any textbook. I traveled around with the most inspiring group of people had ever met, who helped me take fear and turned it into confidence. The Traveling School opened my eyes to a vast world and gave me new skills and understandings, to work towards becoming the person I most want to be.”