"Life was meant for good friends & great adventures."
The past three weeks in Spain have been full of good friends and great adventures. It's funny now, three weeks later, to think back to July 8th when I met the Global Navigator's in the airport in NYC. You could read their emotions all over their faces. They were excited, nervous, anxious, and curious, and so was I. As a first time Program Leader, I didn't know what to expect.
Over the past three weeks I have had the pleasure to get to know each and every student, and have been able to watch them grow. Although three weeks sounds short, I have seen a positive change in all of the 17 students, and the impact that this experience has had on each student.
Students have stepped out of their comfort zone, tried new things, and listened to other's opinions, beliefs, and traditions. They have made many new friends, friends that come from all of the United States, with different backgrounds, different stories, and different experiences. But what they all have in common, is their new adventure. An adventure that has opened their minds, and instilled a desire to travel and explore the world.
They will return home remembering the amazing friends that they made. Friends from all over the U.S, as well as many new friends from Spain.
They will remember their incredible teacher, Carlos. A teacher that teaches from his heart, and projects his passion for filmmaking and his love of life onto each student. Carlos has motivated these students, and they will never forget him, or the lessons that he has taught them.
They will remember all the ice cream they ate, the new foods they tried, and how they probably don't want to eat any bread or ham for a long, long time.
They will all remember their host family. They will remember how nervous they were when they first met them, how they struggled to communicate, and how new and awkward the experience was at first. They will remember how they text me, asking me how to translate things, and if it was normal that they couldn't understand a single thing that they were saying. However, today they are saying their goodbyes to their host families that cared for them, and shared their experience with them. They have learned so much Spanish from their host families, and have realized that you can have a great friendship with someone, even despite a language barrier.
They will remember the monuments, the sights, and the incredible trips that they took together. They will remember the amazing views of Seville, Granada, and Cadiz.
Everyone will take something different away from this experience, however, no one, will be returning to the U.S as the same student that I met on July 8th.
You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices; these students have gained an experience that they will never forget. This experience has changed them, even if they don't know how just yet.
To my 17 awesome Global Navigators, thank you for sharing this experience with me. Thank you for your positive attitudes and your open minds. I hope you take this adventure with you, wherever you go in your future. Let this be only the first of many international experiences for you!
Program Leader, Global Discovery, Session 2