Don’t Call it a Gap Year: Here’s Why

There is a nasty smell that hangs around the word Gap Year. One of the main reasons Gap Years have started to give off this foul odor is due to their association with volunteerism. A Volunteer Story… If you do not yet know what volunteerism, here is a little visualization. Harry, a well-meaning individual and[…]

5 Questions Every High School Student Should Ask Before Going to College

If the usual path taken from high school straight to college doesn’t seem sensible to you, believe me, you are not alone. There are thousands of students out there who don’t really like the idea, but too often we go along with this forced transition from one environment full of academic pressure to another just[…]

How to Survive Language Barriers: 5 Strategies for Better Communication

Last September, I packed my bags and left the only home I’d ever known, San Francisco, and landed in Senegal where I’d be living for the next 8 months during my Global Citizen Year. After a month of cultural training and language lessons in French, I learn that I will be placed into a homestay[…]

Culture Shock in Ecuador

    Perhaps, one of the reasons why I have had such difficulty adjusting to my community in the province of Cañar, southern Ecuador, is that I come from the privileged background of never having been negatively defined because of my appearance or nationality. And all the workshops and preparation in the world could not have prepared[…]