Global Navigators Revisit a Summer Abroad

Margaret Unger, Managing Editor

This summer, fifteen CRLS students embarked on a journey to study overseas through the Global Navigators program. Run through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), the program collaborates with high schools to provide students with various international educational and cultural experiences and support them through scholarships. 

Each study abroad experience lasted three-to-four weeks during one of two summer sessions. Programs were offered across several continents and focused on language, cultural, leadership, or artistic experiences. CRLS biology teacher Mr. Paul McGuinness, who has promoted the Global Navigators program at CRLS since 2015, told the Register Forum in an email interview, “The goal of the program is to get more students, who would not normally be able to afford international travel, to experience amazing and life changing opportunities around the world and become global ambassadors and citizens.”

Studying abroad also introduced students to various cultures, an experience participants found particularly meaningful.

For many participants, the educational value of being fully immersed in another language was unmatched. Erwin Kardatzke ’24, a participant in the Spanish Language & Argentinian Culture program in Buenos Aires, Argentina, told the Register Forum, The program was incredible! I was immersed in a completely new culture and I was able to practice my Spanish a lot.” Jay Parmeshwar ’24, who participated in the Spanish Language & Culture program in Seville, Spain, felt similarly. He explained to the Register Forum, “I think it helps a lot to be immersed in a language; it really allows you to pick up new vocabulary without much effort.”

Studying abroad also introduced students to various cultures, an experience participants found particularly meaningful. Rosa Boehm ’23, who took part in the Art-Making in Prague’s Creative Studios program in the Czech Republic, told the Register Forum, “Living in a new city where the culture is very different was a little shocking at first but I got used to it quickly,” noting that she “got a chance to get out of [her] comfort zone socially as well as artistically.” This sentiment was echoed by Elisa Egedal ’23, a participant in the K-Pop Immersion program in Seoul, South Korea. Egedal told the Register Forum, “I left the comfort of my home and the comfort of my own self to be in a completely new and different part of the world, and it was better than anything I could’ve ever imagined.” Living with a host family also offered students a valuable window into the everyday lives of people in other countries. Marin Manoach ’23 noted to the Register Forum that she lived with a “typical Spanish family,” while engaging in the Spanish Language & Culture program in Barcelona, Spain.

After several summers affected by the pandemic, program sponsors aim to raise awareness for the Global Navigators program and the opportunities it offers. Additionally, they hope to inform students of the many scholarships available through CIEE. This year, CIEE awarded $34,000 in scholarships to CRLS students. Reflecting on this, Kardatzke told the Register Forum, I’ll always be immensely grateful for the experience I received, and that the program offers scholarships that allow people like me to have these amazing experiences.”

This article also appeared in the November 2022 print edition.