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US: +1 651-246-8988 | INDIA: +91 080 41234927 | WHATSAPP: +91 6366 834954

Real Education Happens Outside the Classroom

When I was in 12th grade, one of my best friends invited me to travel with her family to Florida for a long weekend. Because we went to different schools, I didn’t have holiday on the days they were traveling.  Therefore, being the responsible student that I always was, I told her that I was going to have to check with my teachers to receive permission to miss class before I could confirm that I was going to join her.
I will never forget the day that I asked Mr. Teigen, my AP European History teacher, for permission to miss 3 days of class. I was busy explaining how I was going to do the reading while I was traveling and would make up all of the homework when he stopped me, looked at me, and said, “Jen. You are going to learn more in those 3 days in Florida than you would ever learn in the 4 ¼  hours of class that you will miss while you’re gone. Go. Have fun. Because real education happens outside of the classroom.”
So I did. I went to Florida, and because I was thinking of Mr. Teigen’s parting words, I was aware of the opportunities I had to learn and was intentional to take note of experiences that challenged me to grow. When I returned, Mr. Teigen asked me about my trip. I looked at him and I said, “It was awesome. And I really did learn SO MUCH. Thank you.” His response was an expression of both surprise and approval, and I have carried this exchange with me ever since.
As you prepare to journey towards a university experience abroad, I challenge you to begin to adopt a similar mindset.  In college you will be living in an environment that is structured to catalyze learning, growth, and development.  Your courses will be challenging, indeed, and within your classes you will have the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge, skills, and awareness.
However, you will also have these opportunities outside of the classroom!  From the moment you wake up in your residential housing, you will be inundated with opportunities to learn and grow.  Whether it is personal growth through a conversation with your roommate, a boost of courage that leads you to sign up for a new activity, hours spent labouring over a group project, the decision to request mentoring from an advisor, or a campaign for student senate, the opportunities are endless. But it is up to YOU to be intentional about choosing and learning from all of these opportunities!
Through a life lived intentionally, you will give yourself the chance to develop as a whole person.  University isn’t only about the classes that you take that provide a job-path; university is four years where you get to learn about everything that interests you and when you get to become the person that you want to be.  The people that you surround yourself with, the experiences that you have, the chances that you take, and the choice to learn from every circumstance will lend to becoming a person who is ready for whatever life throws at you and for any number of professional opportunities.
Real education happens outside of the classroom – will you choose to pursue it?

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