MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER OF SUMMIT GLOBAL EDUCATION
Brian Butler: “20+ years ago: setting off to travel the world, with a backpack on my shoulders, and my mind wide open; this was clearly the best decision I have ever made (if not one of the scariest). It took courage to cast off, and go explore the world on my own, but along the way I encountered the world and learned more about myself than I ever dreamed possible.
“Curious about other cultures, I traveled to understand. Along my journeys, I have visited China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Fiji, Cook Islands, Laos, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, USA (all states except for three), and my native country of Canada. Time has passed, Ive married, and have a beautiful family. In the summers, I travel and teach in Europe with an amazing group of professors. I have studied at great universities, and learned from my peers. But, as I look back, I am certain that I learned more by traveling than I did at any other point in my life.”
“I still have a lot to learn (and a big world to explore), but I am certain that the most valuable life-lessons still to come will happen while I’m taking risks and challenging myself in a distant land on the other side of the world. I hope you will join me! “
Skills you develop traveling:
- Global awareness of important issues
- Greater perspective on how others live, leading to humility and generosity, traits which are attractive to potential employers.
- Teamwork – as you travel the world, you learn to work with others
- Decision making – traveling solo in different parts of the world, you learn how to make decisions quickly in unfamiliar circumstances.
- Communication – what better way to develop your communication skills than by encountering new cultures, languages and communication styles. As you learn phrases for surviving daily life in other countries, you will develop a talent for how to learn languages, and how to communicate non-verbally with people from other cultures.
- Cross cultural leadership – as you travel the world, your skills in cross cultural communication and leadership will be tested and refined.
- Money management, budgeting, planning – travel will improve your financial skills as you learn to live within your budget, plan for future travels, negotiate hotels, transportation and more.
- Negotiation skills – traveling the world on a budget will force you to become a great negotiator, a skill that will benefit your career long after the trip is done.
- Adaptability – While traveling you will need to learn to be flexible and accept changes quickly, which are important skills to develop to an ever-innovating world.
- Interpersonal skills – solo travel is lonely if you don’t quickly develop a knack for interacting with people from different cultures.
- Self reliance, independence, confidence, initiative, and responsibility are all skills you will develop while traveling
On the benefits of learning from traveling:
As a teaching philosophy we believe that the experience of “learning through travel” cannot be matched. When you learn exclusively from a book, you create short term memories, derived solely of your reading and comprehending efforts. When your studying is coupled with the thrill of traveling abroad, it becomes “embedded” in you, together with all your memories of that time and that experience.
When you are traveling your mind is already in a permanent state of openness and alertness: you are experiencing new feelings, you are overcoming difficulties to be understood, you are seeing different sights, smelling different aromas, experiencing new foods, you are becoming a more rounded person every minute. If you couple this learning “trough your senses experience” that happens naturally when you travel with formal, structured classes , the deepness of the learning experience is unparalleled. It becomes a part of you, instead of something that you read and will forget over time.
We believe that students’ minds are more open, more alert when they are traveling, and that what they learn during this interactive and sensory experience becomes a part of them and will not be forgotten . We believe that traditional study abroad programs only half-way prepare students for the real world challenges of mobility and adaptability that only a traveling- study abroad model can simulate.
For this reason, all of our courses will incorporate travel into the learning model, and all of our courses incorporate deep interaction with the real world into the classroom setting. As a twist on the popular saying, we believe that “all the world is a potential textbook, and students that don’t travel read just one page”. Our mission therefore is that all of our students will learn while interacting with people from different cultures.