Exiting the Year Meaningfully

Harrison W. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. He comes to SYA from Phillips Academy in Massachusetts.

In closing out my year in Rennes, I hope to weave in the ends of my SYA chapter. SYA promises a year of discovery, and on that front, I will assure all that that has taken place. In order to write this, permit me to provide some inference to the elucidatory nature of this program. 
I have lived and studied in the state of Massachusetts for the past 17 years of my life. Almost everyone I knew before high school had done the same. Even going to boarding school with many international students, I remained in my home state. Though I interacted with an amazing range of individuals, I was comfortable. I had family nearby. I had familiarity with the area. Others had to adapt to the regional differences of my state. I hadn’t the slightest grasp on the enormous journey I had in understanding others’ lives and respective paths. I had carefully ensconced myself in my educational career. On departing on SYA, I knew more awaited me in the world beyond. I am grateful for that foresight. 
SYA France initially ripped the carefully woven environment of my Massachusetts prep school away. Acclimation to a new society is challenging. Coming from a life of tremendous independence on a semi-urban campus, I faced a large change in living in a family. Living such a drastic change is exhausting. Speaking a foreign language saps an enormous store of energy but in the end it was all worth it. I have learned the ability to listen, without which one misses the mellifluous echos of diverse thought in the world. SYA France has undoubtedly shaped my capacity to perceive and comprehend details of the world around — a skill I will carry home.  
So for the individual reading this, thinking about coming to SYA, or having already decided to come — take the risk.  

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  • SYA France
A New Normal

Annika compares her new normal to her life in Rennes in her last blog.


Luke recalls a recent memory that encapsulates the lessons he learned from SYA.