Something that snatched my interest upon applying to this programme was the idea of a global perspective. Classes were largely based upon open discussion and student input, so for example a discussion on borders and immigration policies, would be approached by the varying outlooks of Spanish, French, Iraqi, American teenagers. I remember specifically one of the most insightful and earnest accounts of the status of women’s rights in Iraq from a soon-to-be friend and couldn’t help but appreciate the awesome opportunity I had to learn and explore all the cultures I had been exposed to.

I was absolutely astounded by the array and standard of talks and lectures provided at the Institute. Highlights included a Yemeni representative from the United Nations who informed us of the perplexing entanglement that is the war in Yemen. We were challenged to solve the current crisis within a 30 min period which I guess was a testament that world problems take slightly more than 30 mins of thought! Undoubtedly Bernie Sanders’ phone call should get an honourable mention. Disclosure: I think I may have broke a chair when I found out I’d get a chance to question him (by accident of course!)

I honestly cannot speak enough for the many many friends I had the absolute pleasure to meet. The last day I can assure was a rollercoaster of emotions. The tears definitely caught me by surprise and I’m not afraid to admit it. I rest assured that I will always be welcome into the homes of an international network of people and them to mine.

The campus was so surreal. I kept yelling at people that it felt like a movie but regardless of my methods I had a point! Starry nights were accompanied by flashes of fireworks, smores and campfire sessions. It truly was as majestic as it sounds. Most notably however was this beautifully positive and accepting vibe that just radiated from everyone around you. It’s hard to put into words.

More importantly was that the campus and staff united us. We all shared a common goal and that was to make an impact, to actually make the change that we want to see in the world and I feel this sense of fulfilment now, this inspiration to go out and really do it. It’s a real tribute to Eil Explore that they can transfer such a passion into people like me and I hope to return the favour.

About the Author:

Name: David English
Age: Under 18
Explored: Youth Activist – Governor’s Institute of Vermont, USA