In this image, Winterliners work on planning their Independent Student Projects (ISP). And below, student Sarah Rimbey shares her tips for planning an ISP, a 9-10 day independent activity structured and developed by each Winterline gap student. Check out Sarah's tips below!
“During our third (and final!) semester with Winterline, sixteen of us will be set free in Europe for our Independent Student Project (ISP) to individually explore an area of interest that we would otherwise be unlikely to experience in our comparably mundane lives.
A few of us have decided to look into the more practical side of life for our projects, including shadowing the CEO of a start-up in Paris for the week. Others are looking into passion-based projects like aerial acrobatics in Ireland, and others are taking the budget to the limit in order to pursue the craziest things they could possibly do, such as race car driving in Germany!
As with many facets of life, with great fun and power also comes great responsibility... And a whole lot of planning. I thought I’d share some tips on what I learned while planning my independent project in Europe.
1) Choose a focus
Do you want to intern at a recording studio in London for a week or work on travel skills and try to hit as many counties as possible in a week? What about becoming a master chef in Italy? The possibilities are really infinite (just ask our fellow student Cole who will be creating giant puppets and theatrical masks in Northern Italy for the week!).
2) Find the time To Plan
The majority of our ISP planning took place in Jamkhed, India. We were at the Community Rural Healthcare Project campus and our schedules were packed full with nursery visits, community health meetings and time hammering together artificial limbs. In order to complete our ISP planning on schedule, it was necessary to coordinate access to the Internet and book our tickets in between health care activities and mandatory chai drinking.
3) Get crafty
A big skill we've learned during this project planning (whether or not it was intended) was budgeting. Personally, before Winterline, I had done most of my traveling with my parents. That means they did all the booking, stressing and planning necessary to get from point A to point B. This project has taught me that to travel within the confines of a budget requires looking into a number of different accommodations--hostels, home stays, bed and breakfasts, and scheduling the occasional nap on the train from Kraków to Geneva.
4) Trains, planes and automobiles (and boats, and bikes?)
Because of the close proximity that European countries have to each other, we didn’t need to simply look at air travel. During the ISP, students will be crossing the Channel from Paris to London, biking to and from their hostels and places of work, driving to tour and visit wineries, and using boats to float down the river and see the sights. Be ready to learn how to research a wide variety of forms of transportation!
5) Get on it and book it
As soon as your plan is solidified, book it! Prices fluctuate often when booking plane tickets. One day a flight is £25 and the next week it is £150 so don't wait. Take it from a procrastinator!
6) Get your GoPro ready
The experiences and sites you visit during this project are going to be ones you will want to remember. Get your GoPro ready to capture your adventures.
I hope future Winterline students find these tips useful when planning their Projects. I can’t wait to get started on mine!”