#KelleyGBI2016 – Participant Reflection for Weeks 1 & 2
GBI 2016 students half-way through the program
July 15, 2016
Post by GBI 2016 Scholar Reem Khorshid from Egypt, and edited by IIB Program Manager Sara Ko
It all began the moment we arrived at the airport in Indianapolis when I was embraced by green landscapes and fields. I couldn’t look away from the bus’ window on the way to Teter Residence Center, and I just had this feeling that it is going to be a good month.
|Bridge painted by #KelleyGBI2016 scholars|
|#KelleyGBI2016 students celebrate July 4th|
The first week was the toughest, for me and all the other GBIers. We all had to wake up too early for orientation sessions, we didn’t know much about the place or our way around it, and we were trying to get used to the life in the U.S. with all its differences. However, the program had many activities that made us get really involved, like the Bradford Woods trip, Eid Al-Fitr dinner, and networking lunch with students from different programs.
Now it is the second week, and we are getting more used to Bloomington. We have been to lots of places like the mall and downtown. We also play sports, like soccer, basketball, and swimming. We also had an etiquette dinner which was epic. And looking into the schedule, I know the fun is not going to end here and I am truly looking forward to more activities. We are also working on our business ideas and first presentation. Yes, it is stressing us out, but we all know we are on it together and that’s the fun part. We panic, together, and most importantly, we are learning a lot and helping each other.
|#KelleyGBI2016 students in class|
On the personal level, I think it is amusing how productive everyone is getting and how intertwined we are despite our cultural diversity and differences. It happened so fast and almost everyone is befriending another like they have known each other for a long time; it is the GBI bond. It is baffling to me because thinking back, during the first few days, I wasn’t too sure that I will be able to socialize or get along with people, but surprisingly, it feels like living with a big family in here. It is very comfortable and the ambiance is heart-warming–to be hanging out at Teter’s cozy lounge, having a funny conversation with Mac or Casey, teaching Greer and Mac some Arabic, playing ping-pong with Nate (who always wins), or a having good laugh with Lindsey at the laundry.
It is all very random and casual daily routines here, but I know that I will take these memories with me to my home country along with the experience and knowledge that I am developing in the program’s classes.
It’s quite challenging to be in the GBI program or to write about it with all the homesickness and tight schedule, but it is somehow liberating to be pushing oneself beyond the limits. I am looking forward to more of it.
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