EdGE changes your perspective on your gap year, especially if you plan on traveling internationally or volunteering. It helps you reevaluate any prejudices and biases you may not even be aware you have, and learn how to best be an informed and engaged global citizen. It gives you extremely valuable resources and a network of people to help along the way.
What is it? In partnership with the team at Omprakash, EdGE is a a custom-built online classroom for EnRoute Changemaker students. There are 10 weeks of curated content on international development, how to communicate while on your gap year and how to travel with your personal safety and global ethics in mind. This course is included with the Changemakers consultation fee and a fantastic opportunity to start learning, preparing for your program and meeting fellow gap year students through thoughtful discussion.
Who Is It For? The classroom is designed for all Changemaker EnRoute students, whether they are going abroad on their gap time or staying in the states. No matter what type of activity or program you are doing on your gap time, you can benefit from the course. In addition to access to the content of the classroom, you will also be virtually connected to other EnRoute students. This offers access to a gap year community before starting your year of travels.
When Does it Start/End?: The classroom will start every June, with a new unit starting each week. The course concludes in late August. You can expect to spend about 45 minutes – 1 hour each week on the course at a computer.
Is There Homework? No. Each unit will contain some videos/reading and at the end, a short writing prompt that will be shared with the group. You can also interact directly with other cohort members to discuss the issues we examine.
Is It Mandatory? All Changemaker students are expected to enroll and participate in the course. It shouldn’t be seen as work – all the units have interesting videos, short readings and writing prompts that will help you think critically about the kind of gap year you want to have. If you go on vacation during the course, you are not expected to complete assignments while you are gone and can catch up later.
What If I’m Not Going Away This Fall? You can still participate in the course to meet other gappers and engage in the topics. It will be useful for you when you do leave for your travels!
What Kinds of Things Will I Learn?
Here is an overview of the units:
Unit 1: Introduction to course, being a global citizen and gap year goal setting
Unit 2: Good Intentions: thinking about the complexities of volunteer work/international travel
Unit 3: Addressing inequality on your gap year
Unit 4: Private, Public and NGO sectors of development work: who helps and why
Unit 5: Environmental justice
Unit 6: Travel logistics: flights, visas and more
Unit 7: Understanding cultural differences
Unit 8: Engaging communities: learning how to be a respectful traveler
Unit 9: Storytelling and communicating on your gap year
Unit 10: Course wrap up and final travel logistics