Both of the nautical projects we work together with, KUS (“School at Sea”) and High Seas High School, were initiated by Kurt Hahn, the father of experiential learning. It is not only the mind that needs to be educated, but also the heart and the hand. What better place is there to accomplish this kind of holistic education than aboard a sailing ship, with countless challenges and the experience of testing one’s own boundaries? Here young people discover that there is more in them than they previously recognized. They learn to put aside personal animosities, resolve conflicts and reach compromises in order to achieve common goals.
Classroom under Sail (Klassenzimmer unter Segeln)
KUS is a project of the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, in particular the Institute for Educational Science (Chair for Educational Theory and Secondary Education) in cooperation with the Institute for Learning Innovation under the direction of Professor Dr. Thomas Eberle and Dr. Ruth Merk.
The campus: the sailing ship Thor Heyerdahl, one of the best equipped traditional sailing ships worldwide.
The idea: young people, serving as the ship’s crew on the high seas, receive support in the development of their character.
The requirements: in addition to a good school report in grade nine, applicants are required to demonstrate intellectual curiosity and an openness to new situations.
The route: Kiel, Tenerife, Grenada, Panama, Cuba, Bermuda, the Azores, and back to Kiel
The students are required to take on responsibility, forego the things they are accustomed to in their normal everyday life, abide by the ship’s rules and be open to the various cultures represented in the crew.
Dedication and commitment in the areas of community service, internationalism, and athletics are good personal qualifications for acceptance. No previous sailing experience is required. For further information, please visit the project website: www.kus-projekt.de
High Seas High School
In this project students between the ages of 15 and 18 sail on a traditional sailing ship across the world’s seas. The route begins in Germany and continues on to the Canary Islands, across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean to either Central or South America and finally to Cuba. After seven months the voyage terminates in Germany. Participants take on responsibility for the daily workings of the ship and live together with the crew and their teachers. Regular classes take place on board and various land expeditions are undertaken in Tenriffa, the Tobago Keys, the Venezuelan mesas, the rainforests or in the Andes. For one week the students live together with a family in Costa Rica and travel through Cuba, stopping to visit a partner school on the outskirts of Havana.
More information is available on the project’s website.