Are you ready for an Unschool Adventures trip? Have you already applied, and you’re wondering how to present your best face during our interview? Here are a few tips.
Most Unschool Adventures trip are long (4-12+ weeks) sleep-away experiences, and we want to make sure that you have previous experience being away from the comforts of home and family before you join one of our adventures. We think of these as “stepping stones” towards a longer and more intensive Unschool Adventures program.
Ideally, we’d love for you to have been away from home for one-half or one-third the duration of the program you’re applying to. That means for a 6-week program, we’re hoping you’ll have done something away from home for 2-3 weeks before joining our program. That’s a solid indicator that you can handle the rigors of a 6-week program.
Of course, we understand that it’s not always easy to find a multi-week program for teens…perhaps that’s why you’re applying to an Unschool Adventures program in the first place! Regardless, we believe it makes a big difference even if you have just one or two weeks experience. An Unschool Adventures trip should not be your first time away from home. You can obtain this prior experience by going to a sleep-away summer camp (like Not Back to School Camp), traveling solo to visit people across the country, doing an extended camping or backpacking trip with friends, taking a road trip… the possibilities are endless.
No matter how you do it, get as much previous sleep-away experience as you can before applying for an Unschool Adventures trip, and emphasize these experiences in both your written application and interview.
Unschool Adventures is for self-directed teenagers who are ready for higher levels of freedom and responsibility in their lives. If you take the time and effort to fill out the online application yourself, reply to our e-mails (promptly) by yourself, and do the interview on your own (instead of having a parent in the room), that tells us that you’re taking ownership for this experience.
We don’t care if your mom originally found the trip—we want YOU to be the enthusiastic, motivated, and organized person who ultimately makes it happen!
We consider this a no-brainer. In the 15 minutes before your interview, review the trip that you’re applying for. Know the basic details. If we ask you why applied for this trip, we’re going to expect that you can provide a few specific reasons in response. Convince us that you’re making an informed decision.
There’s no better way of displaying initiative and passion than to ask a few smart, genuine questions about the trip you’re applying for. Ask yourself: What isn’t clear on the webpage? What details or policies would you like clarified before committing to the program? Who are other participants? What will day-to-day life be like? There are many good questions you might ask us.
We want you to be excited to join this program. This isn’t a program that you should do because “it seems cool.” Show us that you really want to join. And most importantly, show us that you want to join this specific trip, not just any other trip or program that gives you a chance to travel.