Monday, October 5, 2015

Corbin Girard, a 4th year student at UBC, took part in the Caux Intern programme. Corbin is in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems studying Global Resource Systems. She writes of her summer experience as an Intern.

At Caux, on the other side of the world, I found a place where I knew I was meant to be. Overlooking a spectacular view, I was able to find out who I was and make connections with inspiring people from all over the world. Though I was a little nervous, I was sure from day one that the interns program was going to be an enlightening experience. Now I can say without a doubt that I was not wrong about it. The workshops, my departmental work in reception and my conference participation taught me many skills, and I was able to make connections I would never have been able to make at any other internship.

I not only accomplished my goals for the internship, but I learned so much more than I expected. My main goals at the beginning of the program were to connect with people from around the world and learn from different cultures. But what I discovered was that outside my door there is a community who is as committed and interested in social change as I hope I am, and that I have so much more to learn from them. I learned about the differences between other cultures and my own, but I also learned that there are many similarities and many challenges that we all commonly face. Each and every one of us understood that social change starts with oneself, and that, eventually, you can make big changes. The workshops taught me that reconciliation requires dialogue, and while it may not always result in a “happy ending” it still has a powerful effect. I observed this in the Turkish-Armenian dialogue sessions that took place during a conference. The knowledge I gained is not something you can learn in school from a textbook, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to obtain this knowledge.

Going up the mountain on my first day, I was not sure who I was as an individual. But on my journey down on the final day, with a lifelong friend by my side, I was finally ready to go back to “reality.” I knew that “reality” – as many of us referred to it while at Caux – was another challenge I was better equipped to tackle with my newfound experience of the world and others around me. I will never forget my time at Caux and I will never forget the many people, the teachings, and the fun I had along the way.

Corbin Girard (Caux Intern 2015)