World Link Student Arrival Orientations 2016
A student’s exchange year is a chance for them to develop into the person they want to become. It gives the student the opportunity to leave their old world and old self for a chance to flourish in a completely new environment. It is this idea that follows into World Link’s Student Arrival Orientations held at the end of August or beginning of September in local camps in Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, and California.
The objectives for orientation are for students to learn program policies, build and develop a supportive cluster environment, encourage students to participate in World Link’s advanced leadership training program, and give students the confidence they need in order to succeed in their goals, expectations, hopes, and dreams they have for their exchange year and as alumni. It is this confidence which will help the student become the future leader they signed up to be and no other activity can give students this confidence quite like a high ropes challenge course.
A high ropes challenge course is the physical embodiment of the issues exchange students may face during their exchange year. The confidence they develop during this activity will help them overcome challenges throughout their time in the U.S. and beyond. By completing the course, the student has said YES to overcoming their fears. They have taken a jump out of their comfort zone and realized they can do anything they set their mind too. This course gives the students the literal ability to face their fears; see the challenge, and achieve success with the support of each other, their coordinators, and their personal drive to succeed. They realize in order to overcome the challenge in front of them, they need to take the first step; that the small accomplishments build up to overcoming their biggest challenges.
All the goals for the arrival orientation were achieved as made clear from the snippets of reflections below. World Link student’s developed more confidence in themselves to overcome any challenges they face. They are willing to leave what they know behind and start out on their journey to become future leaders. The World Link 2016-2017 Program Year FLEX and YES students are ready to take on anything! Continue reading to see what World Link students had to say:
Student’s experiences and reflections of their Student Arrival Orientation
“The climbing wall was like our exchange year we should imagine ourselves. Every step we made to climb higher was like taking initiative to become successful student and accomplish all our goals in our exchange year, becoming alumni of our programs in the end [is like] reaching the bell on the top of climbing wall.” – Javidan Alayi (Azerbaijan/CA)
“High ropes, it’s like life challenges, or life goals. At very first time I thought it would be so easy that I would quickly get to the end, but from the moment I put my feet on the rope I changed my mind. Sometimes we consider our goals so easy to achieve, but we forget that if you want to do ‘something’ you have to work for it. If you want to get to the end, you have to MOVE.” – Tatia Gambashidze (Georgia/CO)
“Orientation was helpful and fun… We learned how it is to be a FLEX student… We learned how to deal with problems and how to volunteer. Also there were a lot of activities which helped us to build our team spirit… Most important is that our awesome coordinators Karen and Kelly motivated us, they made me believe that I can do it. With their help we can have the best year that will make an influence on our lives. I’m lucky to be in “Linked 18 hearts” cluster. Love World Link!” – Yrys Ashyrakmanova (Kyrgyzstan/IA)
“High ropes [made] me braver, more outspoken, and confident. The main thing I got was, myself was my commander, nobody else was. I wouldn’t make it unless [I wanted] to make it… No longer do I underestimate myself since [the ropes course] taught me how important it is to put trust toward yourself in order to conquer things that [we think are] impossible to do. Overall, I had so much fun during the orientation. The positivity was well-spread in every corner of the room. The good insight, good people, and good contributions were dominating the activities. Hopefully the solidarity that we have can help us to live life to the fullest. Cheers!” – Mentari Ramadhianty (Indonesia/IL)
“Overcoming my fears was one of the important parts [of orientation]. It was hard, but not giving up what you already started is crucial, so I didn’t. And I know I won’t give up fulfilling my goals. The orientation inspired me very much. I decided to volunteer a lot and get involved as much as possible. I also got some new friends from all over the world, for which I’m really thankful to World Link.”- Vanesa Grigoryan (Armenia/CA)
“Throughout orientation I learned that we are going to face many challenges, oh the challenges already started. Sometimes it’s going to be hard, we might think about just giving up, but thanks to the people surrounding us, determination and our will to succeed we will just keep going and in the end we will overcome every obstacle… When we finish this exchange year we can really say that we are ready for college, for independence, for embracing new ideas.” – Tamara Vidic (Serbia/CO)
“The orientation was just eye opening for me, being here is really just a gift that keeps giving and all of us are so blessed to be here. Ever since I was a kid I was terrified of heights, but being here somehow gave me the courage to overcome that fear, climb up there and that changed my life forever, this whole experience has just been amazing and the great thing is that it is just the beginning of our journey here” – Martin Beslic (Serbia/CA)
“When I saw the high ropes, I was scared a little, but being supported by others I did things I had never thought I could do. I overcame my fears and I proved myself that nothing is impossible. Although I had a long list of goals, I noticed that every single day this list becomes longer, and longer, which makes me happy. In particular, I want to mention the goals I set during the arrival orientation: try new things! Meet new people! Don’t be afraid to talk and ask questions! Live and appreciate every single moment of your life! Work harder than you did yesterday! And say this to yourself daily! Reach your goals and never give up! This orientation inspired me to say ‘YES’ to new things, and not to be afraid of them, because ‘It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different!'” – Dan Antoci (Moldova/IL)
Enjoy some more photos from this year’s Student Arrival Orientation: