Use the world as a classroom

Schools will be starting soon. Some parents will experience worry as their first youngster walks out the front door and boards a waiting school bus.
Almost a decade later, that group will move on to high school and parents suddenly will realize that their children are growing and quickly will disappear from home in just a short time.
All too soon, those children who boarded that school bus now are being loaded into the family car and heading off to university dorms.
It is both heartening for parents to see their children off to new school adventures but also sad realizing that, in most cases, they are fleeing the nest.
Just because they are not in the home each night, parents don’t stop worrying. Texting, phoning, and “Face-timing” all help to remove anxiety of parents.
The schools open opportunities to discover and expand the world of options available to young people. From those first days at junior kindergarten to the last days at college, the learning never ends.
Living here in Rainy River District provides a great choice of career options. At colleges and universities, the career opportunities are magnified a thousand fold. Travelling and visiting other nations expands career options yet again.
David Mulroney, president of The University of St. Michaels, in a contribution to the Globe and Mail, suggests that students need to learn the world is their classroom. As he wrote, he experienced the working holiday program.
I’ll admit both of my sons grew with their experiences working in foreign countries. It helped them to mature and broadened their understanding of different political and social norms. Both continued to travel and experience different nations and country standards.
It has made them better persons.
I agree that worldwide travel and work is a golden opportunity for education. On some of their travels, my wife and I have worried. My youngest always said if you don’t hear from us, everything must be going well.
But we ask for their travel itineraries so that when they land back in Canada, we breathe a sigh of relief.
It is never too late for adults to travel and experience other nations and culture. Travel for university and college graduates broadens their education and expands their understanding of the world.
As much as we feel it is important to seek out higher education, we also should encourage our youth to travel and experience more of the world, which will broaden their education.
In an interconnected world, our students need to understand the similarities and differences in dealing with corporations in China, India, Malaysia, or African countries. But only three percent of Canadian undergraduates take advantage of travel opportunities.
If as a nation we wish to participate in the global economy, we must encourage our youth and graduates to use the world as a classroom.

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