Why GCY?

Thomas Linford - Brazil


September 30, 2010

I always get asked the question “why did you do Global Citizen Year?” I’ve come up with some good answers causing nods in my listeners, and other answers that cause my listener to change the subject. I’ve said that Global Citizen Year will better prepare me for college, or that Global Citizen Year would be boosting my leadership skills.

But the truth is that I don’t really know why. Yes, I do think that spending an extended period of time in a developing country is something everyone should do and should become standard, but I don’t know why I think that. It’s impossible to predict how such an experience will change me.

I don’t know what it’s like to be bilingual. I don’t know what it’s like to immerse completely in another culture. I don’t know what it’s like to bring myself to a level of humility as to go to a developing country to learn. I don’t know what it’s like to be unable to return “home” for 7 months.

I know only what I’ve been told:  to expect to have my expectations disproved. So on Friday I leave for Brazil with no expectations and an open mind.

Well, not counting the expectation that Carnival will be so crazy for so long, I’ll get tired of it.

Thomas Linford