"The best way to describe this program is as a microcosm of the whole world."

Anna Gleason
Connecticut, USA

Like most people, I had always known of Yale’s unbeatable reputation as a higher educational institution. What I didn’t know, however, is that I could find the same caliber of excellence in a two-week high school summer program, the 2015 International Affairs and Security session of Yale Young Global Scholars.

The true defining factor in the YYGS experience is the instructors and guest lecturers. Since leaving the program, they have acted as my role models and reason to continue pursuing International Affairs. They bring an unparalleled level of experience and excitement about their respective areas of study. Hailing from all parts of the world and all sorts of backgrounds, their wisdom is something very few people are fortunate enough to receive firsthand. Learning from these accomplished scholars, statesmen, and entrepreneurs in such an intimate setting truly defined my experience and has provided me with the confidence to continue exploring International Affairs.

I found in this program that my learning about today’s most pressing global issues did not stop once I left my lectures and seminars. Each student, instructor, and guest speaker had a profound journey and immense passion for studying the world around them. Thus, instead of rattling off more of the program's impressive facts that I’m sure you already know, I want to share with you YYGS through my eyes.

On the first day, I walked up to the gates of Jonathan Edwards College, our residential accommodation, unsure of what to expect once I went inside. With 200 other highly accomplished students from roughly 90 countries, the multitude of diversity contained within Jonathan Edwards’ walls left me unsure of myself. However, I soon learned that each person I met had a unique journey which manifested itself in a great passion for knowledge and the world around us.

After I had unpacked and met the students living across the hall from me, some of our instructors offered to give tours of Yale’s campus. As a New Haven native, I was very familiar with Yale already, but thought this might provide me with a good chance to meet some of the other students in the program--I was right. From that first day on, I learned that all of the other IAS participants were just as eager as me to make friends and learn. In each opportunity for free time, it seemed that I met even more new people and learned about their unique experiences.

I was further brought close to my peers was through the “family” system. Upon my arrival, I was put into a family with a small number of other students and an instructor. In my family, there were six countries and four states represented. We played games, walked to local restaurants, and played music together. I attribute the family system to my adjustment and sense of place in Yale Young Global Scholars. It was a community within a community and acted as yet another opportunity to meet people.

The thing that most amazed me was our ability to connect despite our innumerable differences. I can recall having a conversation about the role of women in politics with a girl from a nation in which it is governmentally mandated that women occupy seats in parliament. From our different worlds, we held similar opinions. It was striking and comforting to have encounters like these, attesting to Yale’s ability to bring together bright, young minds from all walks of life.

You will leave YYGS with more than just knowledge and leadership skills. You will leave with a network of friends entering the world with a similar forward-thinking vision. In the few months that have passed since I graduated from Yale Young Global Scholars, I have already reconnected some of my friends from the program on college visits and at Model UN conferences. This experience continues to resonate with me and I think of it without fail every day. The best way to describe this program is as a microcosm of the whole world. To forge these lasting bonds transcending state and national boundaries, I recommend that you experience Yale Young Global Scholars firsthand.

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