As you wrap up the semester and head home for the holidays, you’ll finally have the opportunity to sit down with your parents and discuss the possibilities of traveling abroad with us. Maybe you’ve already been accepted, and you’re figuring out all the details now. Or maybe you’ve held off on applying because you knew that your parents would have questions.

As always, parents are welcome and encouraged to reach out to the Go Global staff at any time, but sometimes it helps to talk to another Go Global parent who has sent their child abroad. I had the pleasure of talking with Community Leader Taylor Brock and her mother about their experience with involvement in the program. Taylor is one of our students that we call a “double-dipper” — she’s studied abroad with us twice! So, parents, here’s a message from Taylor’s mom to you:

“As a parent, I have seen the positive impact Global LEAD has had on my daughter’s life. My daughter, through Global LEAD, changed the lives of many impoverished children, which changed her life, too. There were so many experiences through studies and travel that would never have been learned in a classroom environment. Learning life as it is has enriched her with a broader understanding of the world. Global LEAD brings you to recognize your highest potential in life, through leadership, community service, team building, and the study program. Global LEAD gave my daughter a hands-on understanding of what really matters to have an enriched life.

Global LEAD has inspired my daughter’s life so much that when she asked again to go the next summer I said absolutely!

I wish Global LEAD had a program for Moms! We give our children wings; to watch my daughter soar through the Global LEAD program has been amazing.

Don’t Just Go….LEAD!”

Lisa Brock
Mother of Taylor Brock
LEAD Ecuador 2013
Cape Town Direct 2014

In summary, here are 5 short reasons why you should send your child abroad on a Go Global program:

1. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Giving your child the gift of a once-in-a-lifetime experience is the best gift you could give them, because it is something they’ll remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. Never again will they have the opportunity to travel abroad for an extended period of time with a group of other college students and trained professionals to show them the ins and outs of countries and cities! This is their chance.

2. Networking.
They will build relationships with their program director and other staff members that could help them in future job opportunities or interview references. They’ll make friends with other college students who go to schools across the country who could also serve as connections with future job opportunities or simply provide a place to stay when visiting another college or another part of the country. They will have the opportunity to meet locals and build relationships with them, as well, which is not only good for school and career possibilities, but for learning about different types of people. School, job, and internship prospects, and just social and communication skills in general, will absolutely grow from this opportunity.

3. Friendship.
Because of the nature of the program, students will be interacting with each other all day long, forcing them to become comfortable meeting new people. These people will be experiencing and seeing all of the same things that your child is experiencing and seeing, so they will relate in that way and be able to share their thoughts and feelings with one another on the trip in a way that other friends from home might not fully understand. The new friends that your child will make will be lifelong friends. How special is it to think that your child has best friends in this world that they have yet to meet, and they’ll meet them on the other side of the planet?

4. World Mindset.
The best way to teach someone about history is to submerge them in the scene of the history. That’s why you’ve served as a chaperone on all of those field trips for your child to museums, national parks, and monuments, right? Think of studying abroad with the same mindset. There’s no better way for your child to understand Greek history of the Acropolis, literature of the classics, mythology, language, and cuisine than by living in Greece. There’s no better way for your child to learn the history of Apartheid and the way that South African politics affected the rest of the world than by living in South Africa. The experience is truly educational for your child in a special and effective way, and will allow your child to have a better and broader understanding of history, geography, language, literature, culture…the list goes on. You’ll help them see how big and different the world really is and why that’s important.

5. Happiness.
The program will help your child have exciting adventures, see beautiful sights, and eat incredible food all while giving them the confidence and skill-sets that they need to be comfortable being themselves, pursuing their goals, and making new friends. Your child will return home eternally grateful that you’ve gave them the OK on the trip, because they’ll tell you 100 times how much they’ve changed. When you see your child grinning ear-to-ear stepping off the plane, even though they’ve been in the air forever and feel exhausted, and you watch them tearfully hug their new best friends goodbye, you’ll see how much you gave them by giving them this trip.

So what do you say, parents? Ready to sit down with your child this holiday break and start the paperwork?

We hope that all of you have a wonderful winter break at home with your families, and we look forward to reading your applications!

-Anna and the Go Global team