MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Many colleges campuses are shut down or only allowing a limited number of students during the pandemic. That has millions of students taking classes on the web, and many are finding a new way to learn remotely.
A company called A Place Beyond converted a camp in Arizona’s Prescott National Forest into a college campus.
Tatiana Wells is a sophomore at Pitzer College in California, and her childhood friend Correia Borba is a sophomore at Columbia University in New York.
When the coronavirus pushed their classes online, they decided to go to the camp in Prescott National Forest for the fall semester.
“There’s going to be weekend back packing trips, there’s going to be white water rafting, you can go dirt biking, you can take cooking classes, gardening classes,” Wells said.
There are three dozen students at the camp from more than 20 colleges nationwide. All were tested for COVID and have now formed a self-contained environment.
“Even though you are kinda of contained or in a bubble, you don’t feel restricted,” Borba said.
Students across the country are looking for alternatives to logging-on at home.
Hanah Jun and her classmates from Yale found a house in Barbados near the beach.
“I thought, you know, why not take this time to go live with a group of friends somewhere, you know, have a different kind of college experience while I can,” Jun said.
Ciaran Willis, the co-founder of A Place Beyond, is already looking to expand.
“We’re hoping next spring to do a couple of sites, we’re talking to some folks in Colorado,” Willis said.
Willis believes this model of learning and living could become a popular option for college students even after the pandemic ends.