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8 The Educative Value of Travelling

If the school teaches the first lessons in a subject, the college or the University teaches the last lessons in it. But even after graduation from a University or obtaining the highest degree in the gift of a University or an Academy, one feeis that the education s0 received lacks completeness in a few important respects. Academic education in Arts or Science, however thorough and efficient, is after a!! incomplete. Imagine a student of philosophy or history, buried in books in the College or University library or a student of Physics or Chemistry, wearing an apron and working from morning till sunset in the laboratory. Both may obtain the highest distinction at the annual public examination held by the University; and yet it may so happen that both will feel at the end of their academic careers that their education is somewhere and somehow incomplete and inadequate. Travelling is an essential part of education. It brings the travelling scholar into contact with men and women of different lands under different skies. He observes the ways and manners, custom and usages, habits of dress, food and living of other people with interest andjoy. This close and intimate personal contact with other people, speaking different languages and leading different lives under different social, political and economic condition rounds off his angularities. It widens his vision and corrects his perspective of life. For instance, if a student goes abroad and visits Europe an^ America, the Englishmen and Americans eating pork with gusto, the Frenchmen eating frogs with relish, the Germans with their preference for Sauerkraut or a dish of pickled cabbages and the Italians with their liking for spaghetti and macaroni or a kind f wheaten paste may shock him. Again, he may be shocked to find how an average Englishman has 3 deep love and regard for the king while his American brother across the Atlantic practises democracy but dispenses with the king and lives in political contentment. As he moves beyond the Baltic and visits Russia, he notes with surprise how the Russian practises socialism in politics and has a preference at the dining table for vodka, a kind of fiery brandy from rye. The Russian does not talk of religion in politics while we mixed both in a way that almost baffles analysis. European travel teaches a student that there are other plans of eating, living and even believing. A king or no king, with religion as the measuring rod of thought or without it, men can live and do live in Europe. Similar must be the effecc of travel in China or Japan on the students mind. The Chinese eat chouchou or chow chow, a kind of mixed vegetables with two small sticks and imbibes the spirit of Russian communism, which he spreads with eqgalzest among his friends and neighbours. The Japanese eats rice and fish, dresses in kimono, a kind of loose overcoat and pursues his cottage industry with the enthusiasm of an American oil king or a British Steel magnate. Now, whatever, one may be, a student of history or of Botany or Zoology,. a person instantly realises - if he travels westward or eastward - that in the world there are numerous types of men and women, with diverse attitude towards life and its problems. Travel has always been recognised by educationists in every country and in every age as giving the last finishing touch to education. In the age of Elizabeth, English students crossed the English channel went over to Paris or Venice and travelled extensively on the Continent in ord.r to acquire grace and refinement, breadth of vision and depth of insight by contact with foreigners. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, our students have patronised the universities of England, ashave the Chinese and Japanese students patronised the Americans seats of learning more than others. This is all for the gnnH nf mankind, for ideas and ideals cross the barriers of seas and the mountains and spread all over the world.

By travel we do not mean that we shouJd. try, by travel or voyage, to discover another America like Columbus, a new sea-route like Vasco da Gama or another China like Marco Polo. We contend that travel, whether undertaken in foreign lands or in our own country, has a great educative value. It makes education liberal or philosophical in the words of Newman. Education becomes fu!iorbed if or when it is followed by travel with a purpose. Bertrand Russell truly observes that travel helps one to assess ones own civilisation correctly. Beacon said, Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education: in the elder a part of experience. Of the wise traveller who can tell the true from the false, the essential from the inessential. Shakespeare says: Travellers never did lie Though fools at home condemn em.