Yes that is a goat on a van. If you're as confused about our programs as we were when we saw this, then you're in luck!
We've collected the most common questions and answers we get for you below.
What do we study?
The study aspect of our programs is entirely self-guided. You can study anything you like, provided you can do so online / remotely. We can give broad advice on where to start looking for an appropriate course (look here), and which type of educational pursuits fit best with our programs. However we cannot give specific advice on which online course or platform is best for you.
Many previous Edumads have pursued creative pursuits or developed entrepreneurial ideas while on our programs rather than studying, which we are completely happy for you to do.
How much time can I expect to spend studying on the program?
We suggest that you should expect to study for roughly 4 to 6 hours per day. Some days it might be a couple of hours, other days it might be 10. This leaves plenty of time each day to socialise, exercise, read, write, explore, or whatever else it is that you choose to do!
5 hours per day translates to a total of 420 hours of study time for a 12 week program, which I'm sure you'll agree is plenty of time to achieve something significant! We usually find that people complete whatever they intended on studying before the end of the program. So it might be a good idea to line up some extra projects or courses that perhaps are less important to you, but you could add to your schedule should you find yourself accomplishing your main goals early.
If you want to know what a typical day looks like on an Edumadic program, you can read the weekly newsletters from some of our past programs. They include a "Day in the Life" feature where we follow a different Edumad for a day each week. They'll give you a great insight into life on one of our programs.
How do you make sure we're studying?
The short answer is we don't. Once you're on a program you a free to spend as much or as little time as you want on your educational pursuits. We do send out a weekly accountability and review form which asks you what your goals are for the week and whether you achieved your goals for the previous week, but this is more to keep Edumads accountable to themselves than to us.
What we will say is that if you're not studying, then there isn't much value in you remaining part of the program. If you just want to travel then you're much better off travelling solo rather than part of a group and staying in hostels rather than private rooms. You'll have the chance to see far more places if you're not tied to one room in each country.
Are there set hours to study in?
No. We know from our own experience that people are naturally more productive and focused at different times of the day, so we don't impose specific schedules on anyone.
Having said that, people do tend to follow a similar routine as each other. The most common daily routine is studying for a few hours in the morning up until lunch. Then the main chunk of the day is spent socialising, exploring, and generally doing things that travellers do. People then tend to study again in the evenings once the sun goes down.
Where do we study?
We tend to either study from Cafes, our own accommodation (which always has appropriate desk / seating space), or other free spaces that are well suited to studying such as libraries or free co-working spaces. We’ve found that paid co-working spaces are an unnecessary expense for our needs as online students.
We always provide a local sim card topped up with plenty of data to each person at no extra cost. This means that we can realistically hotspot our phone to access the internet as an alternative option to wifi.
Why is there an application process?
A few reasons:
Firstly, we want to make sure your expectations of what the program will be, are in line with reality. If you want to backpack around the world and are just looking for a group to do it with, we're not really for you. Edumadic programs are specifically tailored to allow you to pursue an educational goal (or something equivalent) whilst travelling. If you're not too fussed about the education, then you're better off travelling with a different company, or backpacking solo.
Secondly, most of our programs travel to locations that have vastly different cultures than those you'll find in Western Europe and North America (where most of our applicants are from). When you experience these differences in cultures and simple realities of daily life, it can come as quite a shock, and will probably take some getting used to if you haven't done much travelling in the past. People either relish the chance to experience new cultures and ways of life, or get on the next plane home, horrified by what they've seen and craving the western comforts that they took for granted before. The application process helps us figure out which camp you're in.
And finally, we've travelled extensively as backpackers in the past and know that the people you travel with are as important, if not more so, than the places you travel to. We select people with this fact at the forefront of our minds. By the end of each program, more than just happy Edumads, we want a new group of lifelong friends. By filtering applicants, we're able to significantly increase our chances of both.
Can I apply if I'm not from the US?
Absolutely! We are actually a British company and only list our program fees in USD for simplicity. We have applicants from all over the world and strive for a diverse community on each group from lots of different countries and backgrounds.
How long will the process take, and what does it consist of?
It'll usually take us around a week to review your first round application. If we think you're a good fit, we'll ask you to book a slot in our calendar for a final round interview. If all goes well, we'll be in touch within the week to offer you a place on the program you applied to. The whole process should take around 3 weeks, depending on how promptly you book your interview.
What are you looking for in an applicant?
First and foremost, we are looking for people that are devoted to the educational aspect of the program. Education must be the number 1 priority, with adventure and exploration a close second.
Second, we know that spending 12 weeks with someone can build lifelong bonds between people. We want as many of these bonds to be created as possible in our programs, so we curate our groups with that in mind. It's hard to objectively define the people that we think fit this bill, but the adjectives fun, interesting, adventurous, and kind, are a good start.
How many people are accepted into each program?
We aim for around 15 people on each program. We feel this is big enough to foster a sense of community, but small enough that you can get to know each one of your fellow Edumads on a personal level.
Could I organise it cheaper myself?
Yes and no.
You could probably organise accommodation and transport for cheaper yourself, if you're willing to turn up in locations without any pre-bookings and negotiate face to face with suppliers.
However, what we're certain you can't do is find a group of like minded individuals who are all on the same journey of self-directed online learning and world travel as you are. The community that we bring together is the most valuable part of our programs, and we scour the globe to create it. Edumadism is an entirely new concept, and one that has only just become possible. Very few people are aware that this is a viable way to both learn and travel, and those who are have (until now) had to go it alone, and deal with all the issues that go with that.
What will we be doing whilst we're not studying?
You are free to do as you please with your time once you are on a program. We share information about activities and excursions in each location. None of these are included as part of the tour, although we do assist in organising them at no extra cost to you. We chose not to include any excursions or activities in our tours because we wanted to give you the freedom to choose how you spend your time, not impose upon you how we think you should. This is one of the great things about slow travel. You can take your time to decide what to do and when in each location.
In the past, people have chosen to devote themselves to "extra curricular" activities as well as their studies, and include these in their weekly goals. Previously these have come in the form of general fitness, muay thai, yoga, surfing, cooking classes, and scuba diving.
Got another question? You can ask it here.