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For someone who managed to snitch with honors from grade school to college, I thought academics is everything about life. 
 
Not until I get to travel outside the country. 
 
For the past five years I have been bringing students to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia for a week-long exposure and learning. 
 
I have seen wander and wonder in their 16-year old eyes as they discover new ideas and rediscover previously learnt ones. 
 
Bibo Pineda, a transferee to LifeCollege from Taytay, Palawan, joined GCC2013 like his sister. He commented, “GCC is a journey that shaped my life. It allowed me to go beyond the things that I already know.”
 
My heart leaps with joy when they start to get curious about so many things. All the more when they begin to seek answers by themselves.
 
Jefiel Mendoza, 16, posed the inquiry, “what is more important, experience or academics?” As an honor student
 she worried a lot about her grades. Nonetheless, she joined and realised that in life, guided experience will weigh more than academics.
 
This, to me, is a one of a kind learning experience that goes beyond what the classrooms offer. Especially today, that the quality and personality if learners have drastically changed, educators have to think both inside and outside the box to weave a unique learning experience that, in the words of Mr Keatings, penetrates the marrows of life.
 
How can this be more possible than putting up travel curriculum that addresses the needs of 21st century learners, aka, netizens, digital natives, generation y, or the millenials?
 
Ericka, 15, recognised the fact that most school programs doesn’t address her need as a learner. As if constantly craving for something, GCC was able to respond to this. “GCC exposed me to a lot of culture as we get to meet and interact with people, their beliefs, and even their food.”
 
True enough, from the time I was in school to today, much have changed and many will still change in the next couple of years. My view on this is simple, teach them how to learn and they will become lifelong learners. Show them how to ask questions and they will do the same. Show them how you find answers, and they will also seek answers to their questions.
 
A confessed shy girl, Blecy, 16, unknowingly found out that she was more conversant and engaging when she talks. “I am definitely different from what I used to be 16 days ago when we came here first.”
 
At sixteen, they have experienced something that I have not when I was their age. No amount of gold could ever replace that — to show a child that there is more to life than the achievements inside the school.
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