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Exotic career retreat combines learning with relaxation for job seekers

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    Bali, Indoneisa --with its tiered rice patties --is the backdrop for Change Ventures, a retreat that offers travelers a vacation and career advice. (The Change School)

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    Change Ventures, a retreat in Bali, Indonesia, is a combination of career workshops, professional coaching, surfing, hiking and wine to get you back on track. (The Change School)

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    Rates for the Change School includes accommodation at a 4-star villa, many of the meals, mentoring and coaching sessions, local excursions, yoga and more. (The Change School)

Need a vacation and struggling with career burnout at the same time?  Entrepreneurs and founders of The Change School have the solution for you.

Grace Clapham and Solonia Teodros came up with the idea of offering those struggling in their jobs an island paradise getaway to work out which direction their career should take. 

Change Ventures, a retreat in Bali, Indonesia, combines career workshops, professional coaching, surfing, hiking and wine to get you back on track. 

Rates for the 21-day experience range from between $3,000 and $4,000, which includes accommodation at a 4-star villa, many of the meals, mentoring and coaching sessions, fireside chats from leading experts, local excursions, yoga and more.  Airfare, non-program activities and personal expenses are not included.

Clapham and Teodros spoke with FoxNews.com about the program.

FoxNews.com: What made you want to start a retreat like this?  What are your backgrounds?

Grace Clapham: Solonia and I have been friends since middle school. When we reconnected a few years ago, we were both going through our own personal transitions, which eventually led us to establish The Change School. My pivotal moment was when my father passed away and I realized I needed to do something with more impact and make a change in the world.  At the same time, Solonia had left her corporate role to embark on a new entrepreneurial journey that would allow her to focus on good work with purpose.

Fox News: How would you describe your ‘theory of change’?  

Solonia Teodros: Our theory of change starts with the individual. We take an inside-out approach to helping individuals establish their place, purpose and potential in the world in order to become true global citizens. We all want to make a difference, do good work, make stuff work better - but in order to change the world, we must first change ourselves.

Fox News: How has The Change School been received so far? 

Clapham: The response has been terrific. For last year’s Change Ventures program, we had a mix of entrepreneurs, career-breakers, and recent college grads from different backgrounds and nationalities who were committed to make a change within themselves.  We also had four Change Fellows from Indonesia join us for last year’s program.  For this year’s October program we’ve had a lot of interest so far. We’re wrapping up early bird applications on July 31st and final applications close on September 1st 2014.

Fox News: What made you pick Bali as the location?

Teodros: Bali is the perfect location for the 21-day immersive experience because it offers the best of both worlds - an exotic and peaceful environment, rich in culture and spirituality, along with a budding community of innovative startups. It’s also a popular destination for tourists and health/wellness retreats, offering unique and luxurious villa accommodations at affordable prices, including an array of adventure activities (ie: hikes, rafting, off-road biking).

Fox News: How do participants split their time between yoga, surfing, etc., and learning workshops? 

Clapham: It’s a 50/50 split between educational experiences and those that focus on personal growth. Change Ventures integrates elements of wellness, adventure, culture and education to help you be at your mental and physical best.  In order to hit all these elements and because we believe each individual needs to encounter both professional and personal experiences in order to create change, we make sure our program allows for 50 percent of the time spent on peer learning, group activities, speakers/mentors and workshops and the other 50 percent spent on personal time. 

Fox News: The price tag of $3000 to $4000 is pretty steep, especially if you’re career is in transition.  How would you justify the cost to someone who may be interested in applying?

Teodros: We believe that the program is an investment in your future, and provides the personal and professional changes needed for growth. That said, we realize most people need more than that to justify the investment, and we believe there is a “bang for the buck” element to this as well. In addition, a percentage of the fees go to supporting our 1 - 2 Change Fellows from Indonesia.  If we compare to other higher end retreats, the cost of our 21 day program is similar to what others would charge for a 7 day retreat.  Change Ventures is not where we make a lot of profit, but it is our signature program and an important holistic and immersive experience for everyone participating.