"Every single day, I had my mind opened, my opinions challenged, and my ideas celebrated."

2017 PLE
Rachel from Connecticut, USA

Yale Young Global Scholars has truly been the greatest academic opportunity I have ever experienced. From the thought-provoking daily lectures, to our intimate seminars, to simply grabbing doughnuts with friends from my discussion session, I was constantly introduced to new ideas, perspectives, and people from around the world—an experience I will always cherish.

The capstone project was one of my favorite parts of YYGS because I was able to collaborate with other highly motivated students in conducting intensive research. Much to my delight, I was assigned to the “Healthcare and Public Policy” capstone, and from there, I teamed up with three of my peers to explore mental health care reform across Italy and the United States. My team’s diverse cultures, ideas, and backgrounds strengthened our project, and made the work an even more enriching experience. The capstone assignments were not always easy, but certainly rewarding in that I learned invaluable skills that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My all-time favorite activity, however, was the crisis simulation. In this exciting, fast paced event, I took on the role of the CEO of a major Canadian non-governmental organization, and was assigned to work on a legal case in which First Nations people accused the Province of British Columbia’s government of selling their native land. Quickly, I came up with a plan to support the Tsi Del Del people, and testified on their behalf. After an intense trial in the YYGS Supreme Court, we came out victorious!

One of the best parts about YYGS, however, was the immense amount of learning that took place with my peers outside the classroom. I enjoyed giving anecdotes about the Women’s March in D.C. while my friends shared about the school system in Israel, or the most popular sports in Kenya, or their favorite dishes to prepare at home in Kosovo. Whether it was debating over a delicious lunch at Hopper, or discussing that day’s seminar until 1 a.m., the learning truly never stopped. With its 50% international student body, YYGS was a mixing pot of diverse viewpoints, knowledge, and experiences that enhanced each aspect of the program from the time I woke up, right until I went to bed.

My entire experience at YYGS was simply phenomenal. Every single day, I had my mind opened, my opinions challenged, and my ideas celebrated. I made friends from all over the world (literally!) and was exposed to a diverse, engaging world of politics, law, and economics I could never experience in school. Above all, I found it extremely inspiring to attend seminars with other students like me who truly loved to learn. At school, it isn’t “cool” to get excited over lectures, or to ask questions in class, or to simply enjoy learning, but that was anything but the case at YYGS. Yale created an environment in which it was cool to want to learn, and where discussion wasn’t just encouraged, but expected. Students at YYGS do not shy away from voicing their thoughts and we never let a question go unasked. Knowledge is celebrated, ideas are cherished, and perspectives are changed, and that was worth the world to me.

Thank you, YYGS, for an experience I will never forget!

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