"To me, the world was the immediate people around me, my community and to the greater extent, my country. However, that definition has changed a great deal."
Roy from Zimbabwe
Getting to travel across the world, experiencing and admiring different cultures, traditions, food, music, and the people all but in one place, Yale University, is something that made my time this summer so magical.
During the whole program, the most intriguing moments for me were the breakout sessions we had just after the lectures. Everyone was into the idea of discussing the topic at hand, proposing certain theoretical solutions that could as well be potential research topics to investigate in the future. The communication skills, cooperation and sharing of the knowledge on an open basis made me fill like I was part of a mini world organization out there to help solve world problems. We had formal conversations which honed our leadership skills and helped forge our relationships, without us even realizing it.
Of all the benefits I got, a talented group of friends tops my list. My circle was diverse and bigger than usual. But by the time I came back to Zimbabwe, it felt like it was all a two-week dream. I hold on to the hope of meeting them again because, in a way, we all brought out the best in each other. I also got a good education on a lot of things from my YYGS cohort, instructors and the lecturers. The environment which I was put into challenged me to think in ways I wouldn’t have thought I ever could. It sparked a great fire in me to explore, be more inquisitive, and indulge myself in problem-solving projects and activities.
Being a global scholar has changed the way I view “my world.” To me, the world was the immediate people around me, my community and to the greater extent, my country. However, that definition has changed a great deal. I have come to realize that the demarcations that I saw on the world map growing up do not exist physically on the ground or on people’s foreheads. I have taken up the challenge of trying to be more involved in the matters of the world as they affect the worldwide friends that I made at YYGS. I am now looking forward to working with the world.
Most nights, we would have a soccer match at the Davenport courtyard. This was an open space and time for everyone to come and have a good time. Amongst the best players, there were students from Ethiopia, Paris, Iraq, and New York, to name a few. I learned more about their hobbies, cultures, music, languages and their native food. We had moments of cultural exchange and appreciation. This diverse group of friends enriched my understanding of how amazing the whole world is. My sense of adventure was intrigued, and traveling across the world is now officially on my bucket list.
The whole fortnight at Yale has cemented my career choice that I am looking forward to. Biomedical engineering has become my first career choice. As much as the world is progressing in terms of figuring out cures and treatments for diseases and health conditions, developing countries such as my own have been lagging in regards to these advancements. I want to be part of the first team to help usher in these developments in my country so that we can help save more lives. It is this drive, born from seeing other countries prosper and take care of their own citizens, that I have inherited from the experience. I, too, want to see these developments in my country.
I cannot emphasize how much I have grown from the program. The best things I got cannot be quantified. It’s not only one or two or even three aspects of the program that change you, but all of it, from the moment you get the response that you got in, to the experiences that you get from the fortnight at YYGS that you learn and grow from. I had a fair share of learning and growth during my own experience, and I can’t imagine myself having spent this summer any better way.