Ivy Leaguer Who Dropped Out Explains Why Traveling Is Better Than College

Alex Petruchenya studied biology and has a passion for teaching. She is the person behind Cakewalk Science, which provides courses and educational materials in biology and chemistry.


To enhance her education, Alex enrolled at an Ivy League university for a graduate program. But she did not make it terribly far into her career.

“Three weeks into attending grad school, I was reading a paper on the history of cotton and I started to wonder what I was doing with my life,” Alex reflected. She dropped out soon thereafter, and headed to India to travel for three months, which was, “something [she] actually cared about.”

Her soul is still a teacher – even outside the sphere of science, she wanted to inform people on the benefits of travel. Three main things made her say that traveling is better than college.

traveling girl

First of all, she says, travel gives you real world experience, while, “classrooms delay that.” From traveling, she was able to learn to, “take care of [her]¬†finances, set a budget, and network with people.”

Petruchenya says being stuck in a classroom and therefore shielded from these real world experiences is the reason why so many college graduates complain that they were not ready for the so-called real world.

Secondly, travel makes you smarter. You learn to be vigilant, to speak bits of foreign language, and to be entertained by reading books for hours upon hours during transit time. These all give your mind a great workout.

reading map

Thirdly, you gain a new perspective on your self. Alex said she has gained confidence and self-trust from traveling that felt stymied in school, as constantly being tested in a classroom, “keeps you from realizing you have more potential than you know.”

You might consider trying it yourself and see if you too can learn in this unconventional way, through travel, rather than through schooling.