At the beginning of every academic program year, World Link holds Student Arrival Orientation Meetings in regional cluster groups throughout the US: Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, and California.
There are many goals of the orientation; going over program policies, support systems, and hopes for the year, encouraging students to take on their cultural roles in the community, and creating a cluster community of support and team spirit to have as a resource and place of collaboration during their year.
While all these goals are important, one goal to World Link stands above the rest; to demonstrate the challenges students can face during their year in America and give them the techniques so they can tackle these challenges head-on by themselves, all while giving them the opportunity to build character and confidence.
The beginning of most student’s exchange year is a mix of anxiety, fear, apprehension, and of course excitement. There is no greater activity which encompasses all of these feelings and accomplishes our main goal than a High Ropes Challenge Course; the highlight activity of the orientation.
From the initial fear generated by looking up at the challenges awaiting you, to the heart-pumping climb up to the top, to the moment you think, “I’m ready” and the brief pause when you feel, “maybe not”; all leads up to the defining second when you let go and jump.
It is in that second, our student’s realize fear, anxiety, and apprehension are road blocks on the path to the exciting moments ahead. A feeling produced in a split second leap stays with our students for not only the rest of their year, but really their lifetime. It is in this second, our students know they can truly be future youth leaders.