Looking Back on the Journey…

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This blog tries to cover a lot of ground – from life and leadership to cultural shifts and geopolitics. The overarching theme is to connect stories to people and people with truth.

Recently, my team and I decided to take a look back at some of the 1500+ people who have been through Global Next’s international leadership study programs and find out where they are and what they’re doing. (For those not familiar with our work, among others things, we offer accelerated study-abroad leadership programs throughout Europe and the Middle East for US high school and college students.) Here’s what we found:

WHAT PART OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL STUDY PROGRAM EXPERIENCE WAS MOST VALUABLE TO YOU?

Regarding value, the number one response from those who have been through our program was BETTER CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING. Apparently getting out of their comfort zone was crucial in helping them understand the world in a better, more comprehensive context.

The other top responses were: IMPROVED INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS and INCREASED KNOWLEDGE FROM THE LEADERS TRAINING COURSES.

Additional responses indicated that they also valued their increased confidence, gained help in determining future direction, improved problem-solving skills, gained new leadership opportunities, improved networking opportunities and gained help in determining their major in college.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW?

Our former students are doing a lot of things! Their successes include graduates from Columbia University, some are enjoying international internship programs, others are pursuing Master’s degrees, and Doctoral programs. Some are pursuing degrees in theater, chemistry, philosophy, political science, international relations, biblical studies and so much more! Professionally we have teachers, healthcare workers, business people, technology people, marketers, those in the fashion industry and communication fields. And these are just SOME of the varied stories and paths that our former students have taken.

HOW DID YOUR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PROGRAM IMPACT YOUR FUTURE?

We often hear from students who recently experienced international conferences with us, so it was interesting to reach into the past and see what still “stuck” after time. Some of our responders were from 2002 when we were just getting our programs started, only offering one or two per year. There is not enough time or space to share all of the comments that we received, but I’ll share these few:

“Oh man! That’s hard to put into words…I would not be the leader I am today without the influence of Global Next, the lessons learned during the conference times, and the global exposure of traveling. Learning to see the world “in context” is invaluable – learning to love all because God loves all has been probably one of the biggest lessons I have learned (and am still learning!).”

“It taught me to not be afraid of the future. Instead of fearing what might lie ahead or timidly putting myself out into the world, I now have the courage to JUMP MY SHADOWS and do my all for God, even if I do not have complete peace about something…I believe that Global Next and Dr. Phil have impacted my future to the extent of me not being the same person I was even a year ago. I am no longer afraid of failure or embarrassment. I am not afraid to ask questions. And I am going to do my best to live a great story.”

“Two things stand out to me that show how Global Next has impacted my life on a daily basis. First, these conferences have opened my eyes to the world around me. Going to another country and immersing yourself in their culture helps you to realize how big the world is and how small many of your problems are, which in turn gives you a whole new perspective on life. Second, the conferences discussing how to recognize various personality types has helped me tremendously in my line of work. Being able to identify different personality types allows me to communicate effectively with my coworkers, coaches, and athletes/patients.”

“The leadership seminars, and just plain exploring life with Dr. J, were truly an eye opening experience that honestly forced be to dissect my worldview and my place. Dr. Johnson and company really pulled me out of my American bubble and really showed me how great, beautiful, damaged, and different the world can be.”

Thank you, Carter Helton and Andrea Frankenstein (two former GN travelers, interns and now GN contributors) for your help in putting together the survey and collecting the data!

I hope we all (ALL of you who invest your time, prayers, talents and students with Global Next) continue to see lives changed and our world impacted. If you’re not currently involved in Global Next’s leadership programs, find out more HERE! Isn’t it time to start your story?

 

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