Worldschooling Central Europe

Summer Experience

18-24 August 2024 in Lower Austria

Welcome to Worldschooling Central Europe!

Worldschooling Central Europe is the new and unique worldschooling hub by Family Freedom World, based near Vienna, Austria, in the heart of Central Europe.

We are thrilled to introduce you to our exciting first programme – the Worldschooling Central Europe Summer Experience! An incredibly rich, fun and transformative worldschooling experience for the whole family. Open to all families, with or without previous worldschooling experience!

WHY WORLDSCHOOLING?

If you’re new to Worldschooling you will probably discover that Worldschooling can mean a hundred different things to a hundred different people. In our opinion that is a good thing. Worldschooling, both as a concept and practice, is as diverse and multifaceted as the world itself.

And of course at Worldschooling Central Europe we also have our own vision of Worldschooling. To us, Worldschooling means…

  • Fostering an open-minded attitude towards all that is foreign and new, whether experiences, people, values and principles, cultures, environments, ways of life…
  • Embracing the “new” and “unknown” as an opportunity to expand one’s horizon, acquire new skills and knowledge, discover more about the world AND oneself, develop (self)leadership and empathy, and ultimately grow
  • Becoming more aware – for example of the impact our own upbringing and schooling has on our view of the world and on how we choose to shepherd our children through life
  • Becoming more mindful – for example of the interconnectedness of all life on earth, and what impact our actions have on us, other humans, the environment and our planet
  • Consciously encountering one’s own fears and limitations, and learning to utilise the potential hidden within for a more self-determined and self-empowered life
  • Cultivating trust and union, and overcoming fear and division, for one’s own benefit, the benefit of our children AND the benefit of all life on earth

Why Worldschooling Central Europe’s Summer Experience?

We are confident in saying that the Worldschooling Central Europe Summer Experience is a one-of-its-kind worldschooling programme. A unique opportunity for families from around the world interested in expanding their horizons to foster individual & collective growth.

At Worldschooling Central Europe’s Summer Experience we invite you to immerse yourself in the many inspiring community and educational projects we are a part of in our Austrian home town of Oberwölbling. Such as…

  • the co-housing project we live in, home to approx. 50 adults and 30 children, with its highly inclusive decision-making structures, forward-looking sharing economy and lively community activities,
  • the homeschooling cooperative our two older kids are part of, which allows families from the region to live their vision of an alternative and self-determined way of schooling for their children, for over 18 years now,
  • the forest kindergarten in the vast expanse of the ancient Dunkelsteiner forest just across the road from our co-housing project, attended by our youngest child, with its highly empowering pedagogical environment, focused on inspiring mindfulness in the children towards all living things,
  • the many other ways in which the communities we are embedded in aim to live a more sustainable life, such as practising permaculture gardening together, or operating eco-food & solar power cooperatives, or running a communal car-sharing programme, and much more.

We will embark on lots of exciting and fun adventures together, explore our natural environment, connect with the elements that surround us, indulge in spontaneous play, experiment with different ways of expressing our intrinsic creativity and foster a holistic connection to our mind, body and soul.

In short, at Worldschooling Central Europe’s Summer Experience you will experience firsthand how the communal projects we are a part of in Austria go about living as a bustling “village” again, with the principles of community, sustainability and alternative education as their foundation. And how in a multitude of ways this enriches the lives of the adults and children alike.

The programme in a nutshell:

Forest Day

Together we will explore the ancient Dunkelsteiner forest, observe and use conscious forms of forest bathing to connect with the many forms of life it is home to. In the evening we will make a campfire and there will be room for organic jamming & singing to celebrate our deepened understanding of how we are all connected.

CO-HOUSING DAY

This day is dedicated to immersing ourselves in the ways of life in the co-housing project your host family has been a part of for many years now. Amongst other things we will gain hands-on experience on sustainable gardening and permaculture, as it is practised here, and learn about the innovative decision-making tools used by the community to pursue its common goals.

Mindfulness Day

There is a saying: if you want to alleviate the world from its ailments, adults need to learn to play like children again. To reconnect with their natural state of flow, creativity and imagination, where the intrinsic joy and not (only) the rational mind leads our actions. A state that can be timeless and of divine innocence. This day (as most of the others) will give lots of room for rejuvenating this connection in us. We will visit the beautiful forest kindergarten on the outskirts of the Dunkelsteiner forest and discover how the pedagogy practised there inspires mindful play in children and adults alike.

SELF-EMPOWERMENT DAY

Self-empowerment begins with education. This day is dedicated to exploring how the homeschooling cooperative in our hometown of Oberwölbling has become one of the most successful grassroots projects in the region, and how it empowers the participating families to pursue their vision of a more self-determined education for their children. Oh, and of course there’s going to be lots of fun & play again! 🙂

Creativity Day

One of the many awesome things about living in a co-housing project is that there is lots of sharing happening – all the time! An example for this is sharing our skills and passion for creative activities with each other, for example arts, cooking and handicraft. This day will sport an assortment of workshops hosted by members of our co-housing community, where as a group we will be able to tap into our intrinsic creativity in a multitude of ways.

LAND & FOOD DAY

None of the above projects and activities would be possible without access to ecologically sustainable, highly nutritious and wholesome food. This day is dedicated to understanding how the principles of sustainable agriculture work and applying this knowledge into practice. We will visit two regional, family run eco-farms, where we will learn hands-on about the pivotal role of sustainable soil management and food sovereignty for the future of our species.

Integration Day

The final day of our Summer Experience is all about integrating the many new impressions, encounters and experiences of the entire week. And it is all about celebrating our journey together and the hopefully many new friendships that will have evolved.

YOUR INVESTMENT AND EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW:

The Summer Experience is perhaps the newest and freshest worldschooling programme currently out there, run by hosts who are very passionate about delivering you a unique and memorable worldschooling experience.

Please note:

    • For the Summer Experience from 18 – 24 August 2024 (pilot run), we are offering tickets at a strongly discounted price!
    • Families with 2 and more teens or children qualify for discounts (see below)!
    • There are only a limited number of places on the programme. First come, first served!
    • Special conditions apply, please see the registration form HERE for more details

All prices are per person, in Euros and net (0% VAT applies!). Regular ticket prices: 

  • Adults & teens (ages 13+): 575 Euros 
  • Children (ages 4-12): 470 Euros 
  • Children (ages 0-3): FREE!

Families with 2 or more teens (ages 13+) or children (ages 4-12) qualify for discounts as follows:

  • 30% off regular ticket price for the 2nd child/teen  
  • 40% off regular ticket price for the 3rd child/teen
  • 50% off regular ticket price for the 4th child/teen and more children/teens

Please note: in the case of families with both teens and children, the discount applies to the child tickets first.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 3rd of August 2024! 

Programme price includes:

  • Access to the full programme and all programme activities
  • All ground transportation during activities
  • Transport from and to suggested accommodation each day
  • Daily lunch and snacks
  • Plus: welcome & farewell dinner (Day 1 and Day 7)!
  • Support by our team during active programme hours
  • Exclusive messenger group for all Q&As regarding your participation

Programme price does NOT include:

  • Accommodation (see information below)
  • Any transport needed outside of active programme hours
  • Breakfast and dinner (see exceptions above)
  • Flights & travel insurance
  • Anything else you require for your personal wellbeing

TESTIMONIALS

My boys and I had the pleasure of meeting Christoph in a worldschooling program in Thailand that he helped facilitate. Throughout the program he went above and beyond to make sure our experience was the best it could be. My children absolutely loved him because he was so much fun to be around. In getting to know Christoph it was obvious that he was passionate about worldschooling and would be a natural at hosting his own program, so I was super excited to hear that he had created his own program in Austria!

– Karin

I met Christoph on a worldschooling family experience in South-East Asia. As a fellow father and co-facilitator of the program, Christoph earned my complete trust as he constantly demonstrated knowledge, support and understanding. He was always proactive in offering help and anticipating the varying needs of the group, while ensuring each participant had a safe and rewarding experience. It was a pleasure to share a part of the journey with him!

– Johnathan

Christoph was a great support to me and my family when we joined a worldschooling program in Thailand, which he co-facilitated. I loved his energy and how he interacted with all the children. His attention to detail, and the needs of each family made such a huge difference. He is very passionate about what he does, and I am so pleased he is now sharing his vision of worldschooling in Austria with a larger community!

– Cassie

Location & Arrival

The place where the programme will take place is our pristine hometown of Oberwölbling, nestled at the fringe of the vast Dunkelsteiner forest and located approx. half-way between the two largest cities in the province of Lower Austria, St. Pölten (province’s capital) and Krems, the latter famously lying on the Danube river, right at the gate to the Wachau region (a UNESCO world heritage site).

Oberwölbling is approx. 45-60 minutes by car from Austria’s capital Vienna, and approx. 10 minutes by car from the nearest railway station in the neighbouring town of Statzendorf. Trains leave on an hourly basis both to Krems and St. Pölten (both approx. 15-18 minutes) and via St. Pölten to all large railway stations in Vienna (approx. 45 minutes). If you need pickup on your day of arrival we can provide you with info on cab services operating in the region.

Accommodation

Oberwölbling is despite its proximity to some of Lower Austria’s biggest tourist attractions a bit of a hidden gem. Even though it has much to offer, for example in terms of family friendly outdoor activities or traditional Austrian wine culture, there is only a very limited amount of official guest rooms in town.

Thus, as a special service to you, we have made arrangements with various private accommodation providers in town, as well as a BnB in the nearby town of Statzendorf, to accommodate you and your family during your participation in our Summer Experience programme. Most of them have agreed to offer very favourable special rates to the families of our programme, significantly below average prices in the region. The prices range from 30-45 € per adult/night (typically approx. 50% discount for children, and babies for free).

Please note that we are not responsible for arranging your accommodation and that payment arrangements are to be made with the providers directly. However, we are happy to disclose the list of suggested accommodation providers to you upon request.

ABOUT US

Worldschooling Central Europe is organised by Family Freedom World – a family-run non-profit association: we are a family of 5, encompassing 3 nationalities and 5 cultural backgrounds. We – Nadescha & Christoph – enjoyed a very international upbringing. Nadescha is half German, half Korean and was raised in New Zealand & Germany, and Christoph was born in Austria to German and Hungarian parents. Combined, we pursued our education in 6 different countries – Austria, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, the Netherlands and Hungary!

When we had our three children we became more “settled”, however, one thing never changed: our keen interest in encounters with other cultures and ways of life. We also travelled the world with our kids extensively, from Europe to New Zealand, and from South-East Asia to the Middle East.

On our travels we met many other families, like us keen to explore other realities and new possibilities. It was then that we realised how our life back at home in Austria, being part of a co-housing project, a homeschooling cooperative, forest kindergarten, etc. was novel and intriguing to many families we spoke to. There was a keen interest to learn more about how in our communities back home we managed to live as “a village” again, with the principles of community, sustainability and alternative education as a foundation.

Our wish to give families from around the world an opportunity to tap into this rich experience and lively communal culture was the catalyst for us to establish a new worldschooling hub in Oberwölbling and launch our first signature programme, the Worldschooling Central Europe Summer Experience. We hope to see you there!

Christoph & Nadescha

Family Freedom World