Something special about the nature of our program is the fact that we accept students from schools all over the country. As a result, our students aren’t only developing new friendships they otherwise would’ve never made at their home universities, they are expanding their networks. Meeting a student whose mom’s cousin’s husband (who knows?!) holds the key to your dream job…meeting a program director who could serve as a great reference for a future internship…even meeting a group of kids from a rival school who offer you a place to stay for the upcoming football game; with Go Global, the possibilities are endless.

Brooke Contois, one of our Community Leaders and LEAD Greece 2014 students, writes about Go Global’s role in expanding her networks. A lifelong Louisiana native, Brooke took a leap of faith with us and got out of her comfort zone on a plane to Athens. Read here to see what came from it:

Guest Post by: Brooke Contois

“Laissez les bon temps roulez.”  This is an expression that is regularly used in Louisiana, meaning, “Let the good times roll.”  To me, this perfectly describes the culture of Louisiana, especially during the Mardi Gras season.  Growing up in Louisiana with good music, good food, and just always a good time, I just wasn’t ready to give this up. I’ve always wanted to see what else was out there, but I felt like going to another state school wasn’t what I had in mind, so I stayed in Louisiana and enrolled in LSU. Then I heard about Global LEAD from one of my friends, and it sounded right up my alley.  Greece, in particular, was somewhere that I’d always dreamed of going, and when else in my life was I going to have three months of vacation time? So, I talked to my parents, and soon enough — I was on a flight to Athens, Greece to study abroad.

There were a few people I knew from LSU that were also going on this trip, but I had hopes of meeting new, awesome people from all over, as well.  Through Community Leader groups, service hours, and all of the trips our group planned as a whole, we were able to get to know everyone on a personal level. Because we spent all day, every day together, and we didn’t have any technology to distract us, we all had the most genuine conversations.  I can honestly say that I feel like I know some of the people I studied abroad with better than I know some of my best friends at home.  I now know people from all over the country, and this was a really neat experience, considering the majority of people that go to LSU have also lived in Louisiana their entire lives.

Because I met all of these awesome people, this football season was a blast.  It was so much fun getting to catch up with our friends from Auburn when we stayed with them for the game, and when LSU played Alabama we had a ton of people come and stay in Baton Rouge.  Knowing people from UT, Bama, and all sorts of other schools will help me to make my decision as to where to apply to graduate school.  I can honestly now say that not only have I have networked with people from different schools, people in Greece, and Oglethorpe University, but I have a close-knit Global LEAD family all over.

I can concur with Brooke and say that I had friends from all over come stay with me at Ole Miss for football games. I even stayed with one of my Global LEAD friends in LSU! Anytime I need something from one of my Global LEAD friends who goes to another school, whether it’s a place to stay or some information about their school, I know that they’ll be there for me. I also expanded my networks in sororities; it was fun getting to know the Pi Phis on my trip from other schools, and it was fun to work with Haley, a Kappa from my school. Sometimes it’s important to have people all over the place; you never know when you’ll need them. Branch out.

While nothing is more special than the friendships you’ll make on your trip, we can promise you that your networks will benefit, as well. The more people you meet, the more possibilities life holds for you. Come explore! And as Brooke would say, “Laissez les bon temps roulez.”

-Anna and the Go Global team