Welcome to my third blog post about my School at Sea adventure, largely sponsored by Tutors International. In case you missed my first two posts, you can find out more about me here and read about how I achieved my fundraising goal.

This post focuses on the preparations I have to make for the journey. The first stage is making sure I have all the equipment I need to take. This includes clothes, school supplies, medication, camping gear, and so on. School at Sea provides those taking part with an extensive supplies list, noting everything from how many pieces of underwear to pack through to what kinds of electronic devices we can take on board.

After the first week of sailing from Amsterdam to Ijmuiden there is a farewell party and any surplus items will be given back to my parents because space on board is limited. So I recently spent quite a lot of time finding the right sailing boots, and I decided to get my sailing jacket and trousers from School at Sea themselves. There are still a few things I need like a mosquito net and such so I am working my way through the Excel sheet and trying to fit it all in my (several) bags!

At this stage I also need to collect the sponsorship money promised to me during the fundraising campaign. Many people haven`t paid me yet because they gave me an ‘IOU’ depending on whether I made it successfully into the fourth grade at school. If I didn`t make it I wouldn’t have been able to take part in School at Sea… luckily with a lot of hard work I passed, so it’s time to collect all the funds. Some of this I do directly, and for larger sums I can ask School at Sea to send an invoice directly.  

I also have a lot of things to take care of at school. I’m talking with my school about the projects and tests I’ll need to complete while I’m away. Because you would normally do many of these projects with your classmates, or in a static classroom, we’re working out how I can adapt the curriculum to something I can achieve on a boat.

I’ve also recently been talking with School at Sea programme coordinators about the things that I can and can’t do onboard the ship. I’ve found out details about when I’ll be able to use my phone to call my parents and friends; learned more about the trips I’ll be able to do when we dock; and passed on contact details for my school so that School at Sea can liaise with them directly. I need to select a contact at my school who will be the main contact for School at Sea communication, and also a contact (not necessarily the same person) at school who mediates between my teachers and me to arrange my curriculum for the coming six months. Not all teachers are enthusiastic about someone who wants to take their tests at different times whilst in another part of the world! So I’m working hard to make sure everything is very well planned in advance.

Basically, there is a lot to think about and to organise right now! But I’m also thinking about what I want to do and learn on my journey, and this keeps me motivated and very much looking forward to setting sail in October!

September 4, 2019

School at Sea: my fundraising journey

Fundraising is the first lesson that SaS (School at Sea) teaches its students. All students with SaS take part in their fundraising training. These sessions also enable us to meet the crew and the other students for the first time. ...continue reading »

September 1, 2019

Introduction: about me, Tobias Zijlstra

Firstly, to introduce myself: I am Tobias Zijlstra. I am 16 years old, and I live in the Netherlands with my parents and my sister. This year, I will be taking part in School at Sea, a six-month programme which provides students with the opportunity to continue schooling whilst travelling aboard a sailing ship. The global private tuition company Tutors International, which has a specialist sea-based tuition division called Sea Tutors, has provided sponsorship. ...continue reading »

August 22, 2019

Tutors International announces sponsorship

Tutors International today announces sponsorship of 15-year-old Dutch student Tobias Zijlstra who is set to take part in the School at Sea programme in October 2019 OXFORD, UK: Global private tuition firm Tutors International is pleased to announce that it is sponsoring a Dutch pupil to take part in School at Sea. Tobias Zijlstra, a 15-year-old secondary school student from the Netherlands, will complete the six-month programme which provides students with the opportunity to continue their schooling whilst aboard a sailing ship. School at Sea enables students to continue with their curriculum whilst sailing for six months, providing the opportunity to gain sailing and travelling experience, and encouraging students to take responsibility for their educational progress. Tobias Zijlstra, who will sail with School ...continue reading »