I have wanted to study abroad since age eight when I learnt that my grandfather had been to Harvard. This interest stayed with me throughout my years in the French education system. For some people, that urge comes slowly, and for some it has been there since the beginning, wrapping itself around plans and dreams, shaping them like we hope our choices in school will shape our future. Those of us who have a traveler’s heart know the feeling.
I contacted Global Education Experience with no idea of what exactly it was I wanted to study abroad, and half-baked ideas of schools and locations – none of which included the school I ended up attending. I had some thoughts as to what I might be interested in, based on my preferred school subjects at the time, but none that I was passionate about. I needed help to turn my abstract ideas into concrete plans.
This is what got me to get in touch with Joumana and her team at Global Education Experience. They listened, for hours, to my mashed up wants and likes and parsed through over a dozen potential degree choices with with me until I found the one that fit. We went over my personal statement over and over again until it was strong enough. Joumana walked me through my application to both English and Canadian schools step-by-step. They did this, and they did it splendidly, and it matters.
I am where I want to be now, and while I know to thank myself for it, I could not have gotten there without the help of the people at Global Education Experience.
But the thing I remember most about the experience of working with all of them, and most specifically with Joumana, was the care they put into my case—and into my person. I felt safe talking to them about dreams and personal tidbits of my life. It seems simple, and trivial in the grand scheme of getting admitted into college, but I have found that this kind of pedagogy and genuine kindness is paradoxically rare in education professionals, and too often seen as less important than cold hard results. Joumana, almost immediately, instills trust and confidence, and she gave me the space to ask for what I really wanted, and to figure out what that was exactly. This isn’t something I wish to gloss over by talking about the practical process. It mattered to me; it matters to children (and adults) like me. It matters that, in what was possibly the most stressful times of my life (because whether or not your case is perfect, applying to college is nerve wracking in many ways, and doing so in the middle of exams is even more so), I knew that the person accompanying me was someone I could put my trust into. I can’t imagine how I could have gone through it if I hadn’t had someone who supported me emotionally, in small but significant ways, as well as practically.
I am where I want to be now, and while I know to thank myself for it, I could not have gotten there without the help of the people at Global Education Experience. I cannot thank them enough. I cannot recommend them enough. What they have to give is what I wish for anyone who is like I was: hopeful and determined and lost, but eager to find someplace to belong.