It is unlike any other experience offered to high school students. The Big Year takes you out of the classroom you’ve grown so accustomed to and throws you full-fledged into the world. The Big Year taught me a whole side of eastern history that would never have been a part of my curriculum otherwise. There’s nothing quite like sitting down in the middle of the Forbidden City with tourists swarming around you and learning about the history of the towering red walls and the Great Leader that built them. There’s nothing like sprinting through Venice on a scavenger hunt, cursing the tourist-filled alleyways, trying to find some lost relic or statue from another time. There’s nothing quite like the group dynamic you develop; there’s nothing like the family you become. The Big Year throws you into such a diverse group of people that are all so unique with such strong characters. I never thought I would ever meet people like the one’s I did. Meeting such unique people allowed me to uncover a side of myself I never knew existed. The program changes you in the best way possible and really helps you come into your own. Our teachers curated student-teacher relationships, unlike anything I had ever been able to develop in a normal high school setting. Your teachers become your mentors as well as your friends. They’re the ones you sit down with when you’re working on an essay; they’re the ones you exchange toe rings with or take you to the doctors when you need one. They care. They care so much about students. Everyone does, if ever you’re feeling upset or alone it is such a wonderful and comforting thing to know you can turn to absolutely anyone on the trip. The Big Year is exactly that; it’s a BIG year. Students can expect to meet people, unlike anyone they’ve ever known and see places so incredible they couldn’t even fathom it before seeing it with their own eyes. It is everything I’ve said, and so much more, it is truly the experience of a lifetime, and I feel so privileged to have experienced it.
Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would