hen I read about Grand Tours, I found it very similar to the concept of Worldschooling. 

Worldschooling, at its core, is the idea of taking your education on the road by traveling around the world and learning through experience and exploration. 

It is a way to gain knowledge about different cultures and countries while gaining an understanding of how people interact with one another across borders. 

The concept of Grand Tours has been around for centuries, but it has taken on a new form in recent times. With the help of digital technology, people can now embark on their own personal Grand Tours to explore different parts of the world without having to leave home. 

Worldschooling involves traveling around the world visiting cities, monuments, and other sites that offer a unique perspective into cultures beyond our own. It is an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the world and its people and how we interact with them. 

With every journey, comes a new appreciation for diversity and cultural understanding that can be gained through travel. Worldschooling is an excellent way to combine education and experience into one great adventure. It allows young travelers the opportunity to explore various cultures while learning valuable life lessons.

What were the Grand Tours?

The Grand Tour refers to a traditional journey undertaken by young European aristocrats and wealthy individuals during the 17th to 19th centuries.

It was considered an educational rite of passage for young men, typically in their late teens or early twenties, who would travel across Europe to visit significant cultural and historical sites.

The Grand Tour was particularly popular among British nobility and upper-class individuals. It was intended to provide them with exposure to classical art, architecture, literature, and the cultural heritage of Europe. The journey often encompassed destinations such as France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Greece, among others.

The primary objectives of the Grand Tour were to refine and educate young individuals, exposing them to the art, culture, and history of different European countries. The tour typically lasted several months or even years, during which the travelers would visit museums, attend cultural events, and engage in intellectual pursuits.

The Grand Tour played a significant role in shaping the cultural and intellectual development of the European elite. It exposed them to the ideas of the Enlightenment, classical antiquity, and the Renaissance, influencing their tastes, interests, and social connections.

The tour also served as a way for young men to acquire worldly knowledge, broaden their horizons, and solidify their social status.

However, it's worth noting that the Grand Tour was primarily accessible to the wealthy elite due to the considerable costs associated with travel, accommodations, and cultural experiences.

It was a symbol of privilege and often excluded individuals from lower social classes.

The Grand Tour gradually declined in popularity in the 19th century due to various factors, including the rise of nationalism, political changes in Europe, and the availability of alternative forms of education and travel.

Nonetheless, its influence on European culture and the educational experiences of the elite during that era remains significant.

 "According to the law of custom, and perhaps of reason, foreign travel completes the education of an English gentleman."-Edward Gibbon 

The Purpose of the Grand Tutors -Educational Trips?

During the 18th century, it was common for individuals to adopt a position of intellectual curiosity while traveling to foreign countries. They would then share their observations on human behavior with those who were unable to travel.

The Grand Tour was an educational trip that provided unique opportunities to travelers. It allowed them to acquire rare items that added to their sense of achievement and prestige.

Grand Tourists often brought back various things such as books, artworks, scientific instruments, and cultural artifacts - ranging from small decorative items like snuff boxes and paperweights to larger pieces like altars, fountains, and statues.

These items were typically displayed in special areas of their homes, such as libraries, cabinets, gardens, drawing rooms, and galleries specifically designed for showcasing these treasures.

Purpose of Worldschooling

Worldschooling is a form of learning that combines education and travel. It offers young people the opportunity to explore the world while deepening their knowledge of different cultures, languages, and history.

The goal of worldschooling is to expose students to different environments, ideas, and experiences that will expand their worldviews. This type of learning encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their peers, and the world around them.

Worldschooling also allows students to become more independent thinkers by engaging in hands-on learning throughout their travels. It encourages creativity and innovation while providing experiential opportunities that can’t be replicated through traditional classroom learning.

Can we call the Grand Tours, educational trips?

Given its focus on uncovering culture, history, and knowledge of the world, it can certainly be argued that Grand Tours served as educational trips. It was an opportunity to explore the cultural sites and monuments of foreign countries while engaging in intellectual pursuits.

From the mid-16th century, the grand tour was established as an ideal way to finish off the education of young men in countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden.- Wikipedia 

The tourists were often joined by a guide referred to as a "bear leader." This term originated from the 18th and 19th centuries when a bear leader was a person who accompanied young wealthy men on their travels, acting as a tutor, guardian, chaperone, and companion.

French was considered as the dominant language of the elite in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, the tourist and his entourage would travel to Paris. The traveler would take lessons in French, dancing, fencing, and riding.

Why are parents choosing to worldschool their kids?

Parents are choosing to worldschool their kids for a variety of reasons. Many parents view it as an opportunity to expose their children to diverse cultures, languages, and experiences that they would not be able to access in a traditional educational setting.

Additionally, the experiential learning opportunities provided through travel can provide valuable lessons that can help shape students into more independent thinkers and global citizens.

Worldschooling also allows parents to take a more hands-on approach to their child’s education, enabling them to tailor the experiences to their individual interests and needs. This type of learning creates an environment that encourages exploration, creativity, and innovation - all while allowing families to create lasting memories together.

Grand Tour Locations

The Grand Tour was a journey of cultural exploration. It involved visits to the most renowned cities and monuments throughout Europe, including Paris, Rome, Florence, Naples, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Dresden.

The most common itinerary of the Grand Tour shifted across generations, but the British tourist usually began in Dover, England, and crossed the English Channel to Ostend in Belgium, or to Calais or Le Havre in France. - Wikipedia 


Young men found themselves drawn to Paris due to the sophisticated language and refined manners of French high society. This included the cultivation of courtly behaviors and fashionable tastes. These experiences served as a preparation for future leadership roles, typically in government or diplomacy, by honing their social graces and etiquette.


The traveler faced a daunting journey over the Alps, often taking the route through the Great St Bernard Pass. This arduous trek required disassembling the carriage and separating any bulky belongings in order to navigate the challenging terrain.


During their visit to Italy, tourists would often explore Turin and sometimes Milan. They would then spend several months in Florence, where a significant Anglo-Italian society was accessible to traveling Englishmen "of quality." In Florence, they had the opportunity to admire the monuments of High Renaissance paintings and Roman sculpture in the Tribuna of the Uffizi gallery. This space brought together masterpieces that offered a remarkable glimpse into the artistic achievements of the past.


Venice held a special allure for the British, who regarded it as the epitome of extravagant Italian charm. Consequently, it emerged as a prominent cultural destination for those embarking on the Grand Tour.


Travelers would journey to Rome with the purpose of studying the ancient ruins as well as the magnificent masterpieces of painting, sculpture, and architecture spanning the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Additionally, some individuals would venture to Naples to study music and, starting from the mid-18th century, to explore the recently unearthed archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii. For those seeking a thrill, the option of ascending Mount Vesuvius was also available.


Explorers had the option to visit Malta or Greece to witness their captivating archaeological sites, volcanoes, and stunning baroque architecture. However, it was typically Naples, and later the southern town of Paestum, that served as the ultimate and concluding destinations for many travelers.

If travelers wished to return north, they had the option to cross the Alps once more and explore the German-speaking regions of Europe. Recommended destinations included Innsbruck, Vienna, Dresden, Berlin, and Potsdam, each offering unique cultural experiences.

Furthermore, considering a period of study at renowned universities in Munich or Heidelberg was also an appealing choice. Following their time in Germany, visitors could continue their art appreciation by visiting Holland and Flanders before finally concluding their journey by returning to England.

Some of the Worldschooling Locations


Worldschooling in Portugal offers historical exploration, cultural immersion, language learning, natural beauty, maritime history, arts and architecture, and sustainability experiences. Children can delve into Portuguese history, traditions, and cuisine, explore diverse landscapes, learn the Portuguese language, and appreciate the country's architectural wonders. Respecting local customs and practicing responsible travel is important.


Worldschooling in Greece offers children the chance to explore ancient history, mythology, and archaeological sites, immerse themselves in Greek culture and traditions, appreciate the country's natural beauty, engage in hands-on experiences, and potentially learn the Greek language. They can visit iconic landmarks, participate in local festivals, enjoy Greek cuisine, and discover the country's breathtaking landscapes and marine life. Adhering to local regulations and embracing responsible travel practices is essential while worldschooling in Greece.


Worldschooling in Bali offers cultural immersion, natural beauty, spiritual exploration, traditional arts and crafts, culinary experiences, environmental awareness, and community engagement. Children can engage in Balinese traditions, explore stunning landscapes, learn traditional arts, taste Balinese cuisine, and participate in community service. It is essential to respect local customs, practice responsible tourism, and adhere to any legal requirements for homeschooling or alternative education methods.


Worldschooling in Mexico offers cultural immersion, language learning, visits to historical sites and natural wonders, community service opportunities, exploration of art and handicrafts, and culinary experiences. Children can engage in hands-on learning experiences while embracing the rich history, vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, and archaeological treasures of Mexico.


Worldschooling in Italy offers a rich blend of historical exploration, art and culture, language learning, culinary experiences, and immersion in Italian traditions and natural beauty.

Children can delve into Italy's history, visit renowned museums and landmarks, learn Italian, savor authentic cuisine, and engage in hands-on learning experiences. It's important to adhere to local regulations and embrace responsible travel practices while worldschooling in Italy.

The similarity between grand tours and worldschooling

Grand tours and worldschooling both involve traveling to different places to explore cultural experiences, historical sites, and natural wonders. Both also require participants to respect local customs, practice responsible tourism, and adhere to any legal requirements for homeschooling or alternative education methods.

The main difference between the two is that grand tours were often taken by members of the upper classes in the 18th century, whereas today worldschooling is accessible to people of all social backgrounds.

Additionally, grand tours typically lasted months or years, while worldschooling trips may be short or long-term depending on individual preferences.

The main goals of both grand tours and worldschooling are similar: to experience history and culture, explore natural wonders, and engage in hands-on learning experiences.

Jun 3, 2023
Alternate Learning

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