Updated: Jun 22
We believe in the Education that provides a learner with an opportunity to connect with self, others, and surroundings. Connecting with self leads to spiritual growth, connecting with each other leads to social wellbeing and connecting with the surrounding leads to a harmony with nature. These three dimensions of connection are integral for a learner to engage in purposeful learning. However, we live in a rapidly transforming digital age where distractions are pervasive and less emphasis is made on slowing down and connecting with our own emotions, interpersonal relationships, and real-world experiences. The existing system instead has several competing goals to focus on like providing skills and knowledge that helps in social efficiency, social mobility and so on. Often in this pursuit, the joy of learning and connection with these essential aspects of life takes a back seat.
The competitive culture nurtured and reinforced by the modern education system is creating distress at multiple levels as it kills creativity, imagination, and curiosity. The focus on scarcity of resources and opportunities not only keeps one away from experiencing the abundance around but also isolates the individual and leads them to a state of fear, anxiety, and stress, which can be well understood from the rising number of youth suicides and mental health-related challenges. There is a need to focus on reclaiming one's connection with one's own self, with others and with the ecosystem one is part of to lead to a more meaningful and sustainable life. There is a need to let people become aware of the multiple other possibilities and alternatives available in leading one’s life and equipping them to do so.
In this context, we see potential and opportunity in leveraging travel as a medium to create immersive learning experiences. When one immerses oneself into travel, one empathizes with the world and barriers are broken. One meets new people and exchange their wisdom. One appreciates the abundance and goodness in the world. Idea is to place a learner in a novel and stimulating physical and social environment, present with an opportunity to engage with a real-world problem of their chosen field, provide access to mentors working in those chosen fields and flexibility to carry out one’s own experiments. We believe this would lead to deeper learning.
The programs we offer at Travellers' University are designed on emergent themes like the idea of swaraj, human-river interconnection, alternatives to mainstream education models, gift economy, philosophy of commons, etc. By the virtue of having first hand experience, learners are sensitized about ground realities, encouraged to see the world through their own lenses, and build their own meaning integrating various perspectives. Such holistic experience - physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual exploration would lead to reorganization of knowledge of the self, society and surroundings.