The Parzival Difference

How is Parzival different from other gap year or university programs?

Many gap year programs are focused on something to “do” during an educational break.  With so many young adults unsure of their path, and often burnt out before they even finish high school or college, Parzival Academy believes strongly that a gap program should be more about “becoming” than doing.  

As students take time to discover more of who they are, connect to what matters most to them, and envision a future they can be a part of creating, they’re able to step into the world with much greater confidence and clarity.

Parzival’s curriculum is a unique blend of personal exploration, development and understanding, with all the tools needed to create a sustainable life that expresses your special gifts in fulfilling ways. 

We created our program to be flexible for many situations, including the opportunity for in-person connection (via our orientation and graduation weeks in the beautiful mountains of Colorado), as well as the ability to live, travel or work wherever you wish while participating in the online learning and community portions of the program.

Parzival’s 9 month program can stand alone, supporting your self-discovery and socio-entrepreneurial skill building, or blend with other trainings to create the vocational and life fulfillment you’re seeking. Here are a number of ways in which the Parzival Academy education differs from traditional/systemic/university educational programs.

Traditional Education Parzival Education
Great for those who are very clear as to what they want for their career path and calling, or have significant funds for the “college experience” and a liberal arts education in hopes of finding that clarity
Great for those still exploring who they are, what they value, what their calling is, and how they can best share their unique gifts with the world
Tends toward a “one size fits all” model
Offers self-directed learning with guidance based on your unique skills and talents
Focused more on knowledge, theories, and employment based learning
Focused on cultivating creativity, outside-the-box thinking, empathy, communication, relationship building, innovation, wisdom and leadership/service based learning
Little to no emphasis on the development of the human being or relating with others and life itself
Significant emphasis on knowing who you are, relating well with others, overcoming obstacles, and meeting life authentically and courageously
Typically assumes the need for “well roundedness” with costly, required, general education courses that may not be related to your course of study or your interests/passions
Works with you to explore, discover and cultivate your inherent abilities and apply them to a calling of your choice, without costly “extras” that don’t apply to your unique path
Companies are growing ever more frustrated at the lack of capacities for collaboration, teamwork, empathy, and innovative thinking, which are not taught in traditional education
Offers the creative, innovative, and collaborative capacities, in addition to the self-discipline, focus, openness, and relationship building skills companies and potential collaborative partners are looking for
Tends toward a fixed curriculum based on a focused major or course of study, with little to no personalized interaction, attention or mentorship
Works with project-based learning combined with regular personalized mentorship to guide you toward creating tangible results and significant value that can be offered both in service to the world, and as income generation for you
While traditional educational experience may come with the opportunity to meet significant challenges that need to be overcome, there’s little to no guidance as to how to effectively navigate these challenges
Provides mentorship and coaching to help guide students through self-sabotaging thoughts and emotions, supporting them to truly learn who they are, how they can best relate with others, and to effectively build the confidence, responsibility and empowerment that is possible for every human being
Students typically graduate with knowledge and certain understanding that is not accompanied by hands-on experience
Students graduate having been immersed in numerous hands-on learning projects that directly apply to their success in creating a sustainable livelihood
Students work independently, accountable only to themselves and the teacher
Students work collaboratively with each other, and have personalized mentorship and coaching to hold them accountable and encourage them every step of the way
Many relationships are impersonal, often with teachers not even knowing the students’ names
Personalized relationships and meetings with each student creates a safe space that allows for self-development, in addition to knowledge and skills development
In larger universities, there’s little to no space available for students to process challenges or express emotions, needs and concerns, or for advisors to offer encouraging, honest feedback and support
Students have many options for support, whether via their peers in the community or their mentors. They’re able to express concerns and get regular, honest and encouraging feedback
Risk taking and learning to fail are not taught in traditional education, which often generates a sense of limitation that exists not only in one’s career, but spills over into life
Risk taking and failure are inherent in the iterative, exploratory, creative process of personal and vocational exploration, building resilience and fortitude for life
Many teachers/instructors are trained as teachers or researchers, and not necessarily experienced directly in the field that the student wants to move into
Mentorship based education offers those with direct experience of what’s being taught as teachers, guides, and encouragers
Students have teachers that direct their learning and grade them based on adhering to set standards
Students are respected and encouraged by the group for the discoveries they make and the milestones they reach
Graduates of traditional education often report having “lost the passion” for what led them to choose the education in the first place, often experiencing job dissatisfaction and burn-out
Students learn to stay connected with their own values, rather than adopting the values of an outdated system that is clearly not meeting the needs of today’s world

Step into a meaningful and successful future.

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