Claudia Frykberg reports on her incredible trip to Yale for the Young Global Scholars Program

My flight to the USA was a long 22 hours but I had plenty to do, as I had to complete all my lecture and seminar reading before the program began. Luckily I got through all of that and the flight didn’t seem too bad after all. When I first arrived in the US I spent a few days recharging in Boston after the school term. I had a great couple of days—one of the highlights of the trip was when I visited Harvard and met with the women’s swimming coach. She was so lovely and kind and we talked for a little over an hour. She explained what swimming in college is like, i.e. the travelling, managing studies and sport, team morale, general training stuff and competing. She also asked me a lot of questions about myself and asked me to stay in touch—which I think is a good sign! We have emailed a few times since and I will make sure to keep in contact with her throughout the next year. The Harvard campus was absolutely amazing—it was so green and picturesque and I could completely imagine myself studying there! After the first few days in Boston, I travelled down by train to New Haven and started the Politics, Law and Economics Program. At first it was incredibly daunting—everyone seemed so intelligent and I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of brilliant people who were attending the program. But over time I got more comfortable and made many great friends from all over the globe. I think I became the closest to my roommate over the two weeks. Luckily we had a lot in common and got along extremely well. I am extremely grateful to have met her along with a number of friendly, inspiring and interesting people who I imagine I will talk with regularly over the next couple of years and maybe even go to college with in the future! The course itself was equally as amazing. It was quite gruelling—we worked from 9am to 9pm each day—but the lectures and seminars were so interesting and thought provoking that I didn’t mind being busy at all. I was so honoured to be taught by such esteemed Yale professors and now I have a much more thorough knowledge of Law, Politics and Economics (especially in regards to the American Constitution!). Not only did I learn a lot from those who taught me, but I also learnt from the other students. As the program included people from all around the globe, everyone was able to exchange different opinions, thoughts and ideas. I feel as though simply talking with other people enabled me to broaden my knowledge, and with each person I talked to I felt myself become a little wiser. I even got to hear from a Syrian refugee who talked about his experiences travelling by boat to seek asylum in Western Europe. Hearing about these things on a personal level is nothing like hearing about them on the news—and I think it was these kinds of experiences which I learnt the most from. By the end of the two weeks I really felt at home at Yale. I was comfortable voicing my opinions during discussion sessions, had a group of friends I could easily talk to, and was navigating my way around the campus quite well. When it finally came to an end I was sad to leave everything behind—I wished the program could have kept going so that I could have got to know more people, attended a few more lectures and seminars, and spent more time with the amazing friends I had made. Coming back to Australia I felt as though I had gained so much knowledge and experience. Now thanks to my time at Yale I have a new perspective—an increased sense of drive and purpose as to what direction I want to take in the years ahead. I’m quite excited to come back to school and feel motivated to take on Preliminary Exams, and after that, the HSC!

Year 11 student Claudia Frykberg has just returned from a whirlwind two weeks in Boston, USA, where she attended the Yale Young Global Scholars Program

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