"I cannot talk about YYGS experience without talking about the amazing culturally diverse environment it has and how this environment can bring a positive change to the world."

Juliana Bastos Mello
Brazil


Back home my family and friends asked me the question “How was the experience?” in many different ways, and I caught myself not being satisfied with any of my answers. After a while, I realized that I would never be able to put the amazing time I had at Yale into words and truly express the influence it had in my life.

First, the program helped me think critically about the issues discussed and influenced the way I look at politics today. It sharpened  the necessary tools to improve myself academically in the fields I am interested in.

YYGS made me realize, in many moments, I still have a lot to learn and most importantly: it made me want this knowledge as I never wanted before. The program was one important actor in my academic life and I am sure the girl who checked out was way more mature and critical than the one who checked in.

I could see the influence of the program every day spent in it, and I could notice this change even more when I came back home and noticed how much I had developed in two weeks. Through the discussions in class I could improve my confidence at speaking aloud my thoughts  and defending my ideas. The seminars and lectures encouraged me to discover new things. Every single thing I had the opportunity of doing at Yale helped me to improve myself in many different aspects.

I still remember my seminar about favelas (slums) in Brazil and how I left that class determined to try to change the reality faced by many Brazilians. I still remember the seminar namely  “Killing, saving and letting die” and how the instructor Quinn White asked questions that made me give paradoxical answers and how for the first time I questioned myself about my position before the topic.

Even though YYGS challenged me academically, and I surely will remember it as a lifetime experience in the future, this is not what makes the program so special. The personal aspects of me that were changed at Yale this summer will have an unforgettable impact in who I am for the rest of my life. I cannot talk about YYGS experience without talking about the amazing culturally diverse environment it has and how this environment can bring a positive change to the world.

It is impossible to get to meet brilliant teenagers from all over the world and do not change from the experience. It is impossible to build friendship with students from countries facing war and do not change the way you see these nations. I strongly believe this is the most valuable thing YYGS has taught me: that apart from the distance, the culture, background and all the differences we are all so similar. This similarity is the key for change, it is the key to make the world a better place and the chance of getting to know about other cultures through friendship while we are still young is what makes YYGS so special. The program allows future leaders from countries in conflict to live unforgettable moments together and this, I believe, has power to gradually change the world.

Popular Posts