It is a custom in the southern human lands for nobles and powerful people to send their children as “squires” on various places (OFFICIAL NAME OF THIS PRACTICE STILL TO DEBATE): This has two main purposes: -To teach the children how “real life” is, and to learn valuable skills. -To reduce the gap between noble and commoner, and the resentment between the two.
Obviously, a difference in status will imply a different treatment. The parents of the child to be sent have to provide funding for the child's expenses. For example, the son of a king or a lord might be sent to learn with an extremely wealthy merchant, a famous scholar or a religious leader, while the son of a poor and minor nobility might be sent to learn with a village militia or even to work the earth with a landowner. The nature of the work assigned to them varies greatly and is depending on the occupation of the chaperon.
The duration of this period varies greatly, with the “chaperon” of the child deciding when the child is ready. While officially only the chaperon can decide when the child has finished his “squiring”, it is very common for the noble parents to send “donations” to the chaperon to speed up the process.