Student Perspective

The Traveling School blew up what I thought learning was.

My “educational experiences” have become some of my fondest life experiences. Eating mac and cheese with Denis Goldberg who fought alongside Nelson Mandela to end apartheid in South Africa … observing elephants 10 yards away for a project in science class … being interviewed on Zambian children’s news. That was class! That was school! And that is what learning should feel like.

And those are the big moments, but being able to work on pre-calc homework under a headlamp in a crazy creek by the Indian ocean is way better than working on pre-calc in a classroom.

The Traveling School made me into a creative and critical thinker.

Chloe, Alumna Fall 2015

The Traveling School taught me to think critically about systems.


I remember studying the Guatemalan civil war on my semester, which founded some of my principles. When we learned about the U.S. connection to the Guatemalan genocide and the neoliberalism behind those foreign policy decisions, it deeply politicized me for the first time.

I never would have majored in economics if it weren’t for The Traveling School. I came back from my semester so riled up over the ways that our capitalist approaches had decimated countries we traveled through. I knew I wanted to understand that system inside and out so I could make positive change. After high school Mom encouraged me take a gap year before college, but I had so many questions about economic theory, free trade (and Chiquita bananas) that I couldn’t wait. I owe that love of learning – and probably my college degree – to The Traveling School.

Emelia, Alumna Spring 2013

My Traveling School semester acted as a springboard into the rest of my life.

My Traveling School semester shaped my undergraduate studies, led me to the Peace Corps, prompted me to guide and mentor students in experiential learning and sowed the seeds for my interest in working with women.

Although it’s been ten years since I left The Traveling School, I can still draw a line from my current passions to my semester. As a student, I remember having discussions about feminism, empowering women and taking responsibility for the wellbeing of our global and local communities. I had my first ever conversation in Spanish on my semester and have pursued it ever since. These are values that have guided and shaped my decision to go into public health and nursing, and I will take them with me wherever my career goes next.

Shannon, Alumna Spring & Fall 2010