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Global Grad - a travel and study experience launched

Georgia Wright in a kayak on her world travels.
Georgia Wright in a kayak on her world travels.

A new company that aims to help students travel the world while studying for a degree through online universities has been launched by a local company.

Global Grad, part of the Collingham-based Gusto Group, is offering a study experience that works in partnership with the world’s largest student travel agency, STA Travel, and online universities.

Students can undertake one to three-year courses, including foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, through online universities such as The Open University.

They would spend each semester studying in hub locations around the world.

The first three hubs — in Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore — will launch in January for the first semester.

The second could be taken in Croatia, the Czech Republic, or Portugal in September 2019.

Students will be encouraged to explore the countries they visit, help the community through volunteering, and learn about their people, culture, geography and history.

Global Grad’s location development manager, Georgia Wright, came up with the idea after she turned down a guaranteed deferred place to study business at Northumbria University, so she could extend her gap year and continue exploring the world.

She said: "When I finished school, I knew I wanted to see the world and explore.

"When my gap year was coming to an end I couldn’t bring myself to settling into the university bubble for three years.

"Instead, I carried on earning my way through travelling, visiting 30 countries over three years and having the time of my life.

A Global Grad buggy.
A Global Grad buggy.

"When I finished travelling and came back to the UK, I had missed out on getting a degree but I had gained so much experience and knowledge about the world.

"It got us wondering whether there could be a way of combining the best of both — helping people to enjoy the unbeatable life experiences that come from travelling, while also gaining a good qualification from university education.

"Global Grad means students can travel, see the world, and earn a degree at the same time.

"Whether you want to use it as a guilt-free gap year or a way of breaking out of the university bubble as a digital nomad, it’s a truly innovative experience that can set you up for success while helping you have the experience of a lifetime."

Those on the programmes will have the backing of fully-qualified support staff, who have regular face-to-face meetings with the students throughout their courses.

The staff will be able to help with issues around studying and mental and physical health, as well as other difficulties that students may encounter.

Global Grad is structured to avoid social isolation that can occur in traditional universities.

Students will live and study alongside up to 80 other Global Grad students at each study hub as part of a small community.

The company said its network of hostels were in great locations with clean, modern facilities and had a friendly atmosphere that encouraged students to work and enjoy life together.

Georgia’s father, Mr Steff Wright, chief executive of Gusto Group and Global Grad, said: "With the help of modern technology, there is very little that distance learning can’t help you achieve.

"Whereas it used to be that face-to-face learning in seminars and lecture theatres was a necessity, online universities have a wide range of courses that can be taken entirely through the internet.

"By working with these universities, we can give students everything they need to study from our hubs around the world, while also giving them the freedom to explore and make unforgettable memories.

"There is so much more to learning than what you are told in a lecture hall.

"This allows you to have the best of both worlds."

To register an interest to enrol with Global Grad and find out more information, go to www.globalgrad.com

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