Work, Study, travel, volunteer, we ask what else you could want. Why people decide to come to One World Institute differs a lot, everyone has their own reasons for joining our programs and the outcome is usually much bigger than expected. The same was for the Learn to travel, Travel to learn team number three.
Why did you join the school? Are you happy with your decision so far?
As we asked the team “why?” we got answers that resemble in ways, but are absolutely different at the same time.
For Jaeri, this was an opportunity to have a work experience in Norway. She knew right away that working in the Danish problem kid’s school would be a rewarding job for her and besides this she can also travel in return. The same was for Yehee – “Work, study, travel, volunteer, what else could you want?” Gemma talked about how she had everything she needed back home, but she was still living inside a box, so she wanted to break the walls and see what the world has to offer. Kata was on the same page – good position in her career, but something was missing – she decided to take time to live for herself to feed her soul and curiosity. “I didn’t choose the program, it chose me,” she adds.
How would you describe your experience during the pre-course? Did you learn anything new?
One World Institute offers the students various jobs, to earn money for their travels. We asked the team to describe their jobs and how the experience made them grow.
Working in clothes collection – this job is considered to be more suitable for men since it requires some heavy lifting, but equality is important to us, so why not let the girls try it out as well? Kata looks back on doing sightseeing and working in CC and says that this job is sometimes difficult due to physical work but despite that, it differs from the stressing job in the office, which she was used to do before joining the program. “This job gives you the chance to see a lot of surroundings and leaves an open door for close friendships” – she mentions.
Differently from Kata, the other girls worked in Denmark in the problem kid’s school. Yehee and Gemma did not work with the children but helped out in the kitchen and garden. They reminded of their experience and said how welcome they felt in their host families, how they were provided with everything. Gemma says that since it wasn’t the easiest to communicate with some people due to their lack of English skills, she mostly had to use gestures which actually made the communication even more interesting.
Jaeri, on the other hand, worked with the children. She said that working with those kids wasn’t always the easiest, and sometimes she felt very tired. Despite this, she kept reminding herself that once you start something, you should also finish it. Jaeri overcame her struggles and later felt the great impact the job had on her. Altogether these work experiences were completely new and made the girls cross their comfort zone, they adapted many new skills in cooking and gardening and were happy with the outcome.
What was, in your opinion, the most important thing you learned during the study period?
The thing all the girls felt in common, was that it wasn’t only about learning the subjects during the study period, but learning how to contribute to the community, understand and live with people from different cultures and countries. “It was not always about gaining the knowledge but being more open and learning from the people who surround you,” mentions Jaeri. Gemma, on the other hand, keeps in mind the part of learning how to share the duties like cooking and cleaning, “I also learned to swim!” she laughs. Besides this, it was mentioned that they became more comfortable and fluent in speaking English since it is the main communication language in the school.
Kata recalls the study period and remarks that the best thing about studying in this school, is that you are not graded nor pushed to do anything, you study for yourself and do it the way you feel is most educational. Therefore it is quite individual how one decides to study: watch documentaries, learn from others, read or find other opportunities.
What do you think you can put to use on your travels from what you learned during the study period?
The first thing that came to their minds was learning Spanish, it will be extremely useful in Central-America. Kata pointed out that although their Spanish on a beginners level, they will learn faster and better while being surrounded by the Latin-American community. This is likewise one of the aims of our school – to learn through observing and contributing. That is why the school gives the students an opportunity to experience the previous knowledge in real life to learn things by heart.
Were there any exceptional activities like projects or investigations during the study period? Did these activities teach you something new?
Within the study period, the team had one week of investigation within over 1600 kilometers range in Norway. The aim of their investigation was to learn more about the climate change. Through observing the exceptional natural sights of Norway like fjords, glaciers, and waterfalls. During the investigation, the girls also learned how to construct a tent. Definitely a worthwhile knowledge to have for the traveling period.
Besides this, the team volunteered in working on an eco-farm. One of the girls had a previous experience in working on a farm. For the others, this was something completely new. Apart from picking carrots, pumpkins, and beetroot, they had the chance to eat healthy eco-food.
Lastly, the team participated in a meditation retreat. Here they were sharing stories, connecting with nature and learning to listen to your inner self.
What are your expectations towards the travelling in Central-America?
One can learn a lot while traveling for such a long period out of comfort zone. Everyone will grasp something new about themselves, therefore all have different intentions in learning.
Although the majority part of traveling expectations includes seeing natural attractions and cultures, there is more to it. Kata wants to see how little is needed to make people happy in poorer communities. She wants to see how to live life simpler. Yehee is looking forward to overcoming fears. Gemma wishes to become more balanced and wise. Jaeri intending to learn more about how to preserve cultures and biodiversity.
Did you learn anything else during those past 8 months in One World Institute?
Learning is not always about digging in workbooks and listening to lectures. The most important side of learning is understanding not only the subjects but yourself as well. The team had quite interesting thoughts about this subject. For example, it was said that being in this school encourages you to become independent – to make decisions by yourself and not to depend on others all the time. “The people in One World Institute motivate you to be active in the community. To participate in different activities and to make this place better for all of us,” says Yehee. Jaeri acknowledges that she was impressed by the equality of people’s positions in the school. Everyone does the common duties, no matter the person is either the headmaster of a regular student. “We have more leaders who inspire us, not big bosses who tell us what to do,” she says.
(Question for the team leader) How do you feel about the experience of being a teacher and a team leader for the first time?
Estibaliz is having her first experience as a team leader and a teacher. She feels she is doing very well with her first students. She says to be lucky for having a team like this to be her first. Especially since the LTTL program is quite new, and the structure of it is developing with every team. Her students made it easier to be a good teacher and she learned from them as well.
We asked her students whether they are content with their teacher, it was obvious that they couldn’t wish for better. The team said that their leader succeeded in bringing the team together, making them more confident and complete.
Read the experiences from the previous LTTL teams travels here.