Thinking Outside The Box: Schools You Wish You Attended

School curriculum as we know it is boring, rigid, passive, and sometimes even inapplicable to real life. Seriously, most of us never have to use algebra outside of school. Ever.


Unlike schools with your average curriculum however, a few unconventional educational institutions are popping up, such as the Flatiron School, THINK Global School, and The Traveling School, inspiring a next generation of coders and global citizens.

Flatiron School


This coding school boasts a short and intense curriculum that constantly re-tailors itself to meet real world needs. Students spend around 10 – 12 hours a day for 12 weeks working on projects such as duplicating online-review site Yelp from scratch, and the staff are regularly updated by tech firms on what employers need, and which softwares are used. The revision of their curriculum is very quick — just a few days — as compared to traditional colleges that take years to get past all the red tape.

Interestingly, while students graduate with no certificate or degree, 9 in 10 find themselves hired by employers like Google and Kickstarter within a mere 6 months (or get a full refund if they are not employed by then) with an average starting salary of US$6,000 per month. Flatiron is an increasingly popular choice because going to traditional colleges will entail student debt, and a struggle to find jobs. Employers are hiring more Flatiron graduates because they possess real-time, hands-on experience in technology, which is an ever-evolving industry. The 12-week course costs US$15,000, which is around US$5,000 per month, but financing (which brings it down to only US$380 monthly), scholarships, free beginner courses online are also available. Here’s the catch: it accepts only 6% of applicants, making it more selective than MIT.

Deep Springs College

Deep springs

Located in the high desert of eastern California, Deep Springs is a 155-acre ranch that is the only habitation in Deep Springs Valley – the nearest large town is 64km away. One of the world’s most remarkable liberal arts colleges, students spend 2 years studying an eclectic curriculum including genetics, philosophy, and international relations. Writing, Public Speaking, and a Summer Seminar are the only required courses, where students earn an Associate’s of Arts from the college, or transfer it towards a Bachelor’s at another institution with advanced standing. Most Deep Springs graduates end up in Ivy League schools.

The best part is: tuition and lodging are free – students receive full-scholarships (around US$50,000). However, over 20 hours a week must be spent doing “labour” to keep the college-cum-ranch running, like cooking, farming and herding cattle – not in exchange for the scholarship, but to foster a sense of “ownership and responsibility”. College affairs are also administered fully by the student body, which only admits 12 – 15 out of the 180 – 250 applicants each year. Currently, only male students who are below the age of 25 and have yet to complete a Bachelor’s are considered.

Click here to continue reading on schools that are constantly on-the-go.