Time abroad can be more formative than formal education

I recently got an email from Jordan Mendenhall of North Carolina (who is currently living and working in Dublin), who wrote in to confirm my “Ask Rolf” advice about young vagabonders hitting the road right out of high school:

“Just wanted to drop a line,” Mendenhall writes, “and say that in your new ‘Ask Rolf’ section you gave some great advice to the kid asking whether it’s ok to vagabond straight out of high school. I left for a trip doing the Eurail thing a week after I graduated high school 5 years ago and I believe that that brief time abroad was a more formative experience than my first two years of university. I think that we definitely need to encourage a fellow Americans to take the gap year idea seriously. My short stint abroad that summer prepared me more for college than any book or movie would, and I believe that I grew up and matured faster on the road than a lot of my friends at university who were fresh out of high school without any other comparative experiences. I believe even Harvard is saying that they’re actively telling kids to take a year off before coming now which is great. Anyways, just wanted to touch base and provide some feedback on the beginning of your new column, which I think will contribute even more to World Hum‘s continued success.”

While we’re speaking of World Hum, a new dispatch from Bill Bellevue, “Mullet in the Treetops“, just went up this week.

Posted by | Comments Off on Time abroad can be more formative than formal education  | August 19, 2005
Category: Vagabonding Advice

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