By: Gibson Munene from Kenya
“A leader is not born, a leader is made.” This statement is a perfect representation of what is done at the YYGS program. They design future leaders of this nation.
YYGS is a two week program at Yale University during the summer. It is the most diverse of all the summer programs with a population of 200 students from over 90 countries around the world. It is also one of the most competitive programs to get in with only a few of the best being chosen to attend the program.
The program begins on a very high note with students from different countries occupying similar dorms in the residential college. This mainly is to diversify the program and just inform the students that they are indeed interacting with the world. The first and second day basically is all about getting to know as many of the 200 students as possible and making friends too. This is the kind of moment where your favorite sentence becomes “Hi am Gibson, From Kenya.” You also get to know who your teachers will be.
The third day is when the serious business begins. Wake up time is quite early with breakfast being at 8:00 am. Lectures from distinguished Yale faculty begin at 9:00 am and run for up to 2 hours, and then a very thorough discussion on the lecture topic follows. Here you are at liberty to state and express what you thought of the program. You also get to hear different perspectives from the instructors and exchange ideas with your fellow young leaders.
After having one of the most delicious delicacies made of as many meals from different cultures as possible in the dining hall, students are then involved in an interactive seminar lesson. These seminars are basically based on the student’s readings that they receive before attending the program. I would highly suggest you take your readings seriously. The atmosphere of the class is very interactive with students discussing among themselves various issues. The teacher is there to prevent any heated discussions from arising.
After the seminars, students are then able to enjoy one of the most pleasured moments at YYGS FAMILY TIME!!! Here the students gather in different family groups chosen at the beginning of the program. They get to spend time together and do really interesting things: They can play cards, grab a pizza, play football, grab New Haven’s best cookie flavors from Insomnia cookies, and other things. They also get to share their feelings on the day and discuss any challenges they’ve experienced. YYGS truly gives you a sense of home.
Capstone Projects follow. Here the students are able to do something practical. The projects are based on themes that the students choose before the program. Students have to do a lot of research before presenting a good report of their projects. This really contributes to the student’s research and critical thinking skills. After the capstone project, students are free to explore what New Haven has to offer. Again, they may play games, go to Starbucks coffee, etc., until 11.00 pm when it’s lights out. This, my friends, is a typical day at YYGS.
There are very many interesting things to learn at YYGS and activities to participate in but the mere fact that you get to meet new people from around the world is enough motivation to apply for the program. The application opens in the fall and the application deadline is in February. This is indeed a program you don’t want to miss!