Love As A State of Grace: Lessons from the Host Family Stay

Immersion is not a sacrifice of your authentic self.

You do not have to feel pressured to change your own goals for your Global Citizen Year because of the opinions and or expectations of others.

You may not be your host family’s long lost child that fits perfectly into the family, and that is more than okay.

Do not let your host family or friends of your host family gaslight you. Your feelings are valid.

Be resilient and adamant about who you are and what you want out of your year. Take the advice you think is useful and disregard the rest.

You do not have to explain to anyone why you chose to take this year.

Aim for equal parts of cultural exchange and cultural immersion.

Always do what is best for you at that moment.

Always speak your truth. Silencing yourself will only hurt your heart.

Even in the very worst moments, ask yourself what can I learn from this?

Find a healthy coping mechanism for stressful times. I run, a lot.

Be you. Be you. Be you.

You are enough.

Don’t let other people define you after knowing a small part of you for a couple of months.

Trust your gut instincts.

Always protect your peace and mental health.

Be and act from a place of love. So you can walk away knowing your intentions were good.

Practice gratitude for food to eat, shelter, access to clean water, and support.

Practice in the words of James Baldwin, love as a state of grace.