Recently, for their Student Arrival Orientation; each one of World Link’s 133 FLEX or YES students from over 40 different countries spent a weekend bonding and building confidence with their fellow exchange students at a campground located near their host cities.
After the orientation, students come back with a better understanding of the World Link Program, their exchange year goals set, and the inspiration and motivation to take the first steps towards achieving those goals. Students had faced their fears and conquered a high ropes challenge course, giving them the confidence to overcome any obstacle they may face. During the weekend, the local clusters bonded through team building activities and over a campfire, creating an environment filled with support and ever-lasting friendships.
In short, each Student Arrival Orientation was a success in preparing students to take on the opportunities available to them during their exchange year which will help them develop the skills and abilities they need to be future leaders.
Students had many positive reflections on their event:
“I can reflect my life to those activities that we had. Your journey in life is like climbing a very high platform with a very small amount of passing. But then If we strive hard, have courage and determination to pass all the challenges everything is possible. And because of the courage and determination that I had, I passed the activity and made it through the top. The orientation really helps me a lot. It showed me the best person that I can be. SALAMAT World Link! Thank you.” – Narisa Lumambas (Philippines/CA)
“These…last…few…days…Indescribable! I learned so so much.
-Everything I do in life I do with 100%, all in, as perfect as I can.
-I am who I am, a 10, and will never let anyone prove me wrong.
-By working together, with the support of other incredible people, we can achieve much much more.
I met a ton of new amazing people, made friends from all over the world and had the greatest time ever! Some of my new friends truly inspired and motivated me, I am thankful to God for them. I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART to every single person I met over these past days, all of you are incredible! My view of life has changed.” – Gustavs Klavis (Latvia/IA)
“Weekend of cultural diversity, two days of new friendships, 48 hours of fun, 2880 minutes of happiness and 172800 seconds of new experience. 42 students from 20 different countries met altogether and had a fabulous time! …The most impressive event for me was a rope course, when we had a chance to learn how we should work as a team and develop our leadership skills… The first thing we said when we saw it was “I can not do that”. Even though, we did it together as a team and were kicked out of our comfort zones. But I realized that we became a family while having the s’mores and singing a song at bonfire.. As usual it was hard to say goodbye, but we are looking forward to a new achievements, successful year and reunion in January.” – Aiganym Khamitkhanova (Kazakhstan/CO)
“Two countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh who had a war and a cold past history, stood together, gave a presentation and shared their culture with Americans. We tried to break the stereotypes and clear the misconceptions, because every act of love is a work of peace no matter how small! So say YES to YES and embrace peace to see a way forward through mutual support with those we had a cold past and we will find a path of peace and love. This orientation taught all of us not only how to make friends but the main aim of exchanging your culture and break the stereotypes and make strong bonds between the countries.” – Zartaj Asim (Pakistan/IL)
“I want to thank you for fun and lessons provided to us at Student Orientation. I had a lot of fun, beautiful moments and had the chance to meet people from all over the world and let me tell you that this was the best motivation for me, to see that you are not walking alone, that you are not alone in trying to change the world, to bring kindness back, is a strong motivation. I was pretty impressed and I want to tell everyone from participants that they are amazing and they have a great potential to achieve their goals and dreams, they are real example for all!” – Irina Madan (Moldova/IA)
More great photos of World Link’s 2017 Student Arrival Orientations:
Read about all of the meetings World Link students attend during their exchange year here.