The Sustainability Institute, in partnership with over 20 other specialist organisations from around the world, has recently launched a unique 7-month world exploration program aimed at school leavers – designed to be an adventure-based hybrid between a gap year and university study.
Travelling to 6 countries including South Africa, Mozambique, India, Nepal, Costa Rica and the USA, the SI Explorers program uses the world as a living classroom to expose students to a range of cultures, environments and professional fields. One of the aims is to help students develop their future career paths while building interdisciplinary thinking skills and global understanding.
The application process will be competitive with only 20 places available worldwide to dynamic, passionate and motivated students between the ages of 17 and 21. Applications for the first SI Explorers program, which will run from 7 January 2014 to 10 August 2014, close on 6 September 2013.
The Sustainability Institute, which also offers various post-graduate degrees and professional short-courses, was motivated to develop this unique program largely owing to their experience in education over the last decade and having “come to understand that there is a serious gap, globally, in the transition process between the time which young adults leave school and taking up formal career paths. For far too many of our children, the common choice faced in their final year of school is either to enter immediately into university or to spend a year or two wandering somewhat aimlessly in search of adventure, purpose and direction.”
Young learners who embark on this exploration journey across the world, will on completion have stood on the world’s highest peaks, ventured deep below the surface of the ocean, explored six biodiversity hotspots, encountered three opposing economic paradigms and lived in the presence of wild animals. Apart from the focus on outdoor and adventure, cultural experience, career insights, training or lectures and community service – these young sustainability explorers will also learn valuable life skills and have the opportunity to make friends and network with a range of people from across the globe.
“In the collisions of ecological and economic meltdown the transitions to sustainable futures require a steady eye and the ability to exercise sound judgment. Experience in complex contexts containing international stories and diverse cultures build curiosity, identity and imagination. Together with finding meaning in uncertain times and a stomach for risk, these traits are core to what is required, above all else, in navigating powerful lives – in exercising clear and courageous leadership.
In very few places is the call for curiosity, identity and imagination stronger and more necessary than in the formative transitions between childhood and adulthood.”
– Eve Annecke, Director at Sustainability Institute.
Luke Metelerkamp is a Research Fellow at the Sustainability Institute and programme co-ordinator of the SI Explorers Programme. For more information and to apply for the program, visit www.SIExplorers.org.