I chose this program because I wanted to see the world before attending a four year college. I wanted to see a side of the world that is not as fortunate as us in the U.S. I also wanted to see a side of the world that we, Americans, don’t really think about on a day-to-day basis. Honestly, if I had not decided to go on this long journey, I do not know if I would ever travel to the countries I traveled to.
Alumni Spotlight: Nick Flohr
Nick was born and adopted in Magadan, Russia in 1999. He has lived with his two parents in Nashville, Tennessee ever since he was one year old. He enjoys being outdoors more than anything and is always up for a hike.
Why did you choose this program?
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
She assisted me with deciding what the best program for me was, and helped me narrow down what journey I really wanted to embark on the three entire months. On my own, I had to do my research on each programs' website I looked at and I had to set up an interview with ARCC and get that going so I could then go in the right direction.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Something I would say is to get out of your comfort zone while abroad and to make the most of every single day, even if it’s hard. Three major times I emerged from my comfort zone were zip-lining through the trees in Ecuador, Spanish school for a week in Costa Rica, and when I presented my final Capstone project to my group at the end of the trip. Looking back, I am so glad I did these things and got out of my comfort zone. When opportunities arose, I usually tended to take them, as not only because of the opportunity, but the chance to grow as a person.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average day would look like waking up at a scheduled time, going out to do some sort of service, then, in the afternoon, doing a group activity and then having meeting time with my group at night. Some days would be very hot and humid and long. Other days would not be so hot but would still be long. I loved each day because I was still out doing things I had never done before in my entire life.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear going into the trip was not knowing enough Spanish to get by. But I soon overcame that fear by attending Spanish school and then applying what I learned to each homestay or interaction with local people the rest of the trip. By the time I returned home, my Spanish had definitely improved that I could tell and I’m so glad it did, because that was a big goal of mine.
Can you share a story from the trip?
A little story I'dlike to share comes from a small community in the Andes mountains in Ecuador called Minas Chupa, Otavolo. During this week, my group played and interacted with the locals, went on long hikes, and helped construct a meeting place for the locals, because they did not have one prior to that. After this week there, I made the closest friendships with the children there, some of the most heart-warming relationships I have ever made in my life and I teared up just a little when it was time to leave them.