Work, study, travel and volunteer abroad – what else could you want?

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.

One World Institute - Norway

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.

Team at One World Institute

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.

Working in Denmark

Differently from Kata, the other girls worked in Denmark in the school with kids. 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.

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.

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BTP period – 3 months

Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.

Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public. 

Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.

Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.

Volunteer period – 6 months

The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:

  • Teacher training colleges
  • Educating teachers for rural areas
  • Vocational schools for young people
  • Schools for street children.Preschools
  • Sanitation and hygiene in rural areas
  • Tree planting campaigns
  • Raising funds for social projects by forming partnerships and selling second hand clothes and shoes
  • Stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS (following the program TCE/Total Control of the Epidemic)

Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.

Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.

Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.

Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.

Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.

Travel period – 3 months

Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.

Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.

Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.

Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced.
Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.

Study Period – 6 months

At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.

The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.

Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.

You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.