Global citizenship

What Does Global Citizenship Mean to You? Brandon Collier

Brandon Collier
2013 Global Citizen

We are constantly changing, becoming something more than we were the day before. But it isn’t until we reflect on a long period of time do we see how incremental change amounts to a significant difference in one’s identity. There are rare experiences that immediately catapult us into change, and these moments in life serve as evolutionary stepping stones to one’s next self.

As an EF Global Citizen, like any short student experience abroad, I found myself creating genuine friendships with people all over the continent. Soaking in an atmosphere of warmth, community, and like-minded creativity. Saturating my mind with new knowledge and lessons. But what made the EF Global Citizen Scholarship so important is that I learned less about things and more about life. Those life realizations were not only immediate but extended into my future.

The EF Global Citizen Scholarship gave me the textbook experiences of seeing a new place, meeting new people, and learning in a unique setting. I can tell you how many kilometers I traveled, the number of people I met, and the pages I filled in my notebook. But it also gave me intangible lessons that are impossible to quantify. In a thrilling week of incredible activities and out of this world field trips I witnessed the unifying power of music, the language-barrier breaking ability of sport, and the incomparable infectious nature of laughter. Some four years later, I am still chasing the magical bond I felt with my fellow Global Citizen cohort – ever trying to recapture and recreate that perfect concoction of challenge, discovery, and beauty. How do you quantify music’s ability to unite complete strangers? How do you measure sport’s ability to connect people who speak different languages? How do you calculate the thread of laughter as it bounces through a group? The answer to these questions continues to elude me. I have not been able to stop thinking about them since my time as a Global Citizen. I can’t quantify what the EF Global Citizen Scholarship did for me. I can’t measure how it changed my identity or the way I perceive the world around me. That is what makes it one of those evolutionary stepping stones in life.

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