The Beginning

Julia Bräunig


September 3, 2018

It’s September first. Right now, I’m sitting on the plane and am about to emark the most adventurous experience of my life. The whole experince had begun so spontaneously. In May, I decided that I didn’t wanna go to Uni this year. This was pretty scary considering that I was always sure that I would go to Uni directly, then grad school, possibly get a PhD or another title and then work until my deserved pension. IB had been challenging and I felt drained and so limited at the same time, had I never left Europe before. 
A lot of my Secondyears and Coyears were accepted to Global Citizen Year so then idea of the program was in the back of my mind. In may, I just decided to give it a shot and see if I could even get into this program with very limited scholarships. After I did, I felt relieved. I, at least for now, knew what I was gonna do in the near future and I could take a break from academics while still educating myself. It seemed perfect. 
I then had to choose the country, which appeared to be very tricky. How should I choose when I knew almost nothing about the way of living there? Out of a gut feeling, I chose Brazil – also because I always perceived Portuguese as a very beautiful language. 

These processes were easy. Mostly online, almost unreal. This changed, when I finally got on a plane from Germany to LA and then San Francisco in order to participate on Global Launch – the Global Citizen Year Orientation Week. I’ve never been that far from home, not to mention alone. I was excited but at the same time scared to finally leave my “Germany bubble”. The fear disappeared as soon as I got off the plane in San Francisco and was welcomed by fellow UWC Alumni and other members of the Global Cohort. I was, like back then when I first arrived at UWC, amazed by the open-mindedness of the people that surrounded me, their curiosity, and their strong interest to understand more the perspectives of those they disagree with. 
During the week we slowly started to get to know each other, appreciate one another’s talents and opinions. My year is already life changing. 
I’m looking very forward to going to the North of Florianopolis, living in a house with a housewife. her father and her grown-up daughter and volunteering in a church where I’ll be teaching children Jiu-Jitsu and music. Whilst my portuguese is still at a very basic level, I’m rather confident that communication will work somehow. 

My intention for this year is to do more arts, more sports, learn surfing, meditate, write a journal, become proficient in portuguese and hopefully carefully discover my boundaries. 

Julia Bräunig