Definition of Wanderjahr in English:



North American
  • A year spent travelling abroad, typically immediately before or after a university or college course.

    • ‘Huxley filled these scientific Wanderjahre with the usual minutiae of technical studies on jellyfishes and grand adventures with the aboriginal peoples of Australia and several Pacific islands.’
    • ‘Rigorous and lengthy clinical training replaced the short courses, European Wanderjahre, and apprenticeships of antebellum America.’
    • ‘His stay in Rome then would have been less a Wanderjahr and presumably more akin to a business trip.’
    • ‘In 1894-5 during his Wanderjahr in Europe, this young American star was welcomed by the leading mathematically inclined theorists in every country.’
    • ‘His obsession with the Holocaust since boyhood led him to a city that would wake him up, and he likens his self-imposed Wanderjahre to having ‘a bucket of cold water thrown at your face every morning.’’
    • ‘What he learned and experienced during his adolescence and early manhood could scarcely be described by Goethe's terms Lehrjahre or Wanderjahre.’
    • ‘After graduating from Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., in 1997, Overbeck embarked on a yearlong Wanderjahr throughout Southeast Asia studying the golf course industry with a grant from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.’


Late 19th century: German, literally ‘wander year’.