So much of who I am today is due to the experiences and outlook on life that I gained from Thinking Beyond Borders. The world opened up to me—quite literally—and revealed endless examples of cultures, journeys, and livelihoods that I had very little knowledge of. Every day I was learning and absorbing my surroundings, sharing some of the most incredible memories with ten other students and three program leaders. I gained some of the greatest friends as well as connections to the people and places where we lived. In my life today, I seek adventure, culture, open-minded people, and every opportunity to make life better for someone else. I would never trade the gap year I spent with TBB because it has continued to impact every single day since.
The Global Gap Year gave me the time and unique experiences necessary to hone my interests and figure out how I wanted to spend my time in college. Before arriving at Georgetown, I wasn’t really sure which path of study to take; there were so many options that interested me, and TBB helped me find connections among these interests, which translated into a plan of action in college. For example, I now study Mandarin, which is quite relevant in government, healthcare management, and international relations studies. My interest in healthcare management is also a product of my time with TBB in South Africa, where I first experienced studying health problems and working with patients every day.
After TBB, Lucy went on to her freshman year of college and took classes that were meaningful to her, not just classes that filled a requirement. She finished the year with all A’s and more importantly, she was more engaged with her college classroom experience because of the time spent traveling with TBB. Ultimately, her college experience is more valuable as a result of the gap year with TBB.
We now consider Ian a full fledged adult member of the family, to be consulted on most family concerns, not just a student.
I couldn’t be prouder of my daughter, and I am very grateful for what TBB has given her. I have three more daughters I would like to send when they are old enough.