Alumni Spotlight: Clara!

Meet Clara, an alumna of our Latin America Spring Gap Semester 2019!  After her semester with Thinking Beyond Borders, Clara is attending the University in Weimar, Germany, this fall and planning to get her degree in urbanism.  Continue reading for her full interview.
If you’d like to speak with an alumni of our programs, reach out to us via [email protected]
How has your gap experience influenced/contributed to your academic and professional goals?
After my TBB gap semester I knew – more than before – that I wanted to do something with a positive contribution to society. Something that would sustainably be beneficial for all humans on earth.
And that I would have to start by cleaning up my own mess and the mess of my community, my surroundings.
I always knew that I wanted to influence living spaces but I thought I would play the part of the scientist who conveys facts and data to politicians and people in key positions to spur change.
Now I think I begin to find my roll as a social scientist and planner who brings the people together and actively designs change.
After these three months and especially the graduation ceremony I knew that I wasn’t going to forget about my own power and even more importantly my own responsibility to contribute to the change I want to see in the world.
The urgency of action would and hopefully will insistently hunt me for all of my life.
I owe it to engaged teachers with many, many faces on this journey that I want to put myself into discomfort.
How did your gap year influence your approach to social justice?
I can now identify my privilege without guilt but with the ambition and the promise to myself to take responsibility for a just society.
And a very inspiring fellow student opened up my understanding for the fact that better can never be enough and something to rest on. And that intentions do not outweigh outcome.
What’s one piece of advice you’d have for anyone considering taking a gap year?
Open up! Do not only follow a plan or tick off a checklist – be present for the people around you. And be flexible to learn and experience things that you actually did neither aim at nor anticipate beforehand.
Thanks for sharing with us, Clara!