Worldschooling: A Family Summer Sabbatical Abroad

Have you ever dreamed of living abroad for a period of time? Either taking an extended vacation or perhaps even schooling your kids in another country?

Here’s how this can become a reality for your family without a huge commitment. Michelle & Jake Schomp have been traveling the world with their kids for over seven years, covering more than 50 countries and every continent. They have some personal experience with worldschooling, ideas for summer camps abroad and advice on how to turn your next family vacation into an immersive and connected experience for the whole family. Here’s their story:

What is Worldschooling?

Worldschooling can be as simple as providing your kids the opportunity to learn about the history, culture, food, language, wildlife and environment of the location you are visiting. Traveling families have advanced this worldschool concept to organize meetups, getaways, hubs and even schools in enticing far-off locations. Some of these worldschools are one-time temporary pop-ups, while others have set up permanent locations.

Worldschooling is having a moment right now due to more flexibility for parents to work remotely and more desire to have authentic interactions abroad. Organized worldschools combine this interest in family travel with the benefit of shared experiences and social connections.

Some destination worldschools provide communal living options, while others require you to arrange your own accommodations. Most worldschools embrace an aspect of self-directed learning to encourage children to build autonomy and self-empowerment. Some depart from traditional academics to offer a progressive curriculum based on experiential and practical learning modules. Others focus on project-based learning, and many involve local activities to introduce the culture and traditions of the area.

Sailing with Boundless Life in Syros Greece

Worldschool Options

These new worldschool communities provide the opportunity for families to deviate from a typical vacation towards a more engaging and connected type of trip. Depending on the program, your family can pop into one of the worldschools for a week, a month, a semester or a year.

Boundless Life

One worldschool that our family and others in the Tampa area have attended is Boundless Life. This worldschool has 4 locations open in Portugal, Greece, Italy,  and Indonesia; additional locations open next year. These locations are permanent and they offer a more turnkey solution that includes an education center for the kids to attend, a coworking space for parents to work from, accommodations coordinated for the families to stay in, and community activities organized to build lasting connections.

The Boundless curriculum applies a modern approach to learning but still devotes time to core academics. It is based on the progressive Finnish learning format focused on practicing mindfulness, nurturing engagement, encouraging inquisitive minds,  and raising responsible independent thinkers.

We have already attended three Boundless sessions with more scheduled. In the winter, we hiked the hills around the peaceful palaces of Sintra, in the spring we savored the sweets of tantalizing Tuscany, and in the fall we swam in the salty seas around Syros. Boundless Life makes worldschooling easy for families that want the experience abroad but don’t want to do all the planning. They currently have options for either a month-long summer session perfect for an extended summer vacation OR a 3-month session in winter, spring or fall that is a great fit for extended remote working or for a time off / sabbatical abroad.

{Use referral code: MichelleSchomp to get 600 euro off your first Boundless Life stay!}

Passport Explorers in Colombia

Other Worldschools

Another popular and permanent worldschool is The Hive in the Dominican Republic. We attended a 2-month session at this program which focuses on self-directed learning projects. This worldschool takes a less structured approach to learning with a focus on a different United Nations Sustainable Development Goal each term. Set within a typical small town on the northern DR coast, there are many opportunities to interact with the local community from samba workouts in the streets to Sunday soccer at a nearby school.

The Hive Worldschool in Dominican Republic building a clean water system


We have also attended seasonal and one-time worldschool gatherings and getaways that have each brought their own learnings and lessons. Some of these short sessions have gifted us lifelong connections to families that we have since met up with in other countries and keep up with often. You can find more about these pop-ups on our website:


Do your research to make sure first-time hosts have the right setting and appropriate activities that match your expectations. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take a chance to step outside of your comfort zone to make yourself and your family available for the far off connections that may come.

Boundless Life worldschool Greece

Still not so sure? Consider inviting a family that you know to take the leap and sign up with you for a built-in insurance policy for your adventure abroad.

Our family of five thrives together uncovering the intricacies of other cultures, sampling the cuisines, and forever finding happiness by spending as much time together as we can exploring the wonders of this world. We have decided that this life afar fits us flawlessly, and worldschools have filled in the missing pieces from our travels: They give our kids access to experiential academics and friendships for years to come, and they bring us invaluable adult socialization with other outgoing adventurers.

You can connect with Michelle & Jake on YouTube, subscribe to their newsletter for worldschool updates, or learn more at

*Originally published in the July 2023 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.


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