For me, looking through a college course calendar is like browsing the Christmas catalog.
I want it all.
My wish list just keeps growing.
Last summer I went to Chautauqua, a small town in western New York State that was named the best small town in American by the Smithsonian Magazine. For nine weeks every summer this town turns into a campus for learning. There are lectures every morning and afternoon. Courses you can take that last a week. There’s a live theater, symphony orchestra, opera, dance company… truly, everything about it calls to me.
After having gone last year as a blogger, I sought a way to go back. I wanted more but I also wanted to contribute to this vibrant community. Seeing that many of the people there are writers and visual artists, I decided to propose that I deliver a special interest course on blogging and social media. My four day session (2 hours per day) is called Art and Audience: Promote your work with new media. Details are at the bottom of this post.
So Chautauqua is one place to go to learn as you travel but there are many others.
First I’ll offer some tips on how to find places to go and learn, then I’ll share specific destinations in two popular travel and learn categories.
Travel and Learn: how to find the classes you want.
- Use Google: research “summer abroad programs” or “special overseas courses” or “travel and education” and you’ll find lots of options.
- Check out the Solo Travel Deals page and sign up for the Solo Traveler Advisory so that you receive a monthly email of travel opportunities for solo travelers. This month, we have these learning opportunities listed:
- Idyllworks of Maine. Devote your days to engaging and rewarding art workshops taught by renowned artists and teachers. Join us in Maine to rejuvenate, unleash your inner artist, and make lasting connections with other creative and amazing women. Solo Travelers please enjoy an added 20% off our upcoming June 12-15, 2014 Weekend!
- Spain2Speak. Enjoy Barcelona’s history, architecture, art… and learn Spanish with language tutors as tourist guides. Mention Solo Traveler when booking and you’ll receive a very special gift.
- Wild at Art Scotland. This unique Wild at Art vacation on Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides is led by local artist Nicky Sanderson. Traveling in a small group with the Wild at Art personal touch we bring alive the human and natural history of this unique location to inform our art. September 29 to October 6.
- Check out sites specializing in educational travel programs such as Roadscholar.org (for boomers and retirees), companies’ like STA Travel that focus on student and twenty-something travel and universities that have overseas continuing education programs that are for everyone (here’s the University of Toronto’s page for this).
- Use discussion forums for your areas of interest. For example, if you love cooking, go to sites like Chowhound.com which is organized geographically to find the best cooking schools in an area.
- If you’ll be at your destination for a while, use Meetup.com to find people who share your interests and then ask them for recommendations on classes to take.
- Check out How to Find Classes when Traveling Solo – 10 tips.
Travel and Learn: recommendations from experts
For specific learning destinations I went to Tracey, our food and wine expert here on Solo Traveler and Elena of Creative Elena who specializes in, yes, creative travel. Here are their recommendations.
From Tracey, our editor and Food & Wine columnist
Creative Elena gives us her recommendations on learning the arts
Now, here’s the course I’m teaching at Chautauqua this year.
#1952 • Art and Audience: Promote your work with new media by Janice Waugh
Blogs and social media present exciting opportunities for writers and artists to bypass traditional gatekeepers (publishers, curators) and promote their work directly to people who will love it. A strong online following makes publishing projects more successful. This course will walk participants through the basic concepts and setup of an integrated social media strategy. You’ll learn how to market your work with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, blogs and more.
Computer and Internet knowledge is required.
Maximum enrollment: 18. Minimum age: 16.
Week 3, July 7–10 / M–Th / 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Alumni Hall Ballroom
Fees: 1 week (4 sessions) • $75 / Materials fee • $15
1 session (first day only, at door) • $22