Alice is an Up with People cast member, originally from Lebanon and now lives in Brussels, Belgium. See what life is like for Alice on the road during her gap year abroad!
Why did you decide to travel in Up with People?
“I decide to travel in Up With People because it is really important for me to learn a new language after high school. I also feel it’s important to learn English in an artistic form, not through books. It’s really amazing to learn the language while learning about the arts at the same time.
What was arrival day in Italy like for you?
“I was really excited to go back in Europe, especially to Italy. My arrival day was really funny because my host mom only spoke Italian. The communication was very interesting!”
How did you hear about Up with People?
“Since I was 10-years-old, my mom always told me, “I know an organization that is made for you.” In addition, I know some friends who have participated in this program. It is very famous in Belgium.”
What were you most nervous about at the beginning of the semester?
“I was very nervous to leave my home, start something new, and especially to get out of my comfort zone. I did not know how to speak English and I was very afraid to not know how to express myself.”
What were you most excited about at the beginning of the semester?
“In one hand, I am most excited to meet people from different countries. I want to learn about their cultures and how they think about life. On the other hand, I was also very interested in discovering new places and staying with host families.”
What do you hope to gain out of your experience in Up with People?
“I hope that I can grow as an individual and as a woman as I become more open minded. I also hope that I can evolve and become more independent.”
What was it like meeting your host family in Italy for the first time?
“It was a great experience because my host mom did not speak English. The fact that it is another culture allowed me to grow up and learn more! I loved the transition between Canada and Italy because they are two totally different “worlds.” I love change in general.”
Why do you think a program like Up with People is important?
“I think that Up with People is very important because it combines several elements. It is not only learning a new language, but it is also to be constantly challenged. I think it’s important for us as a young people to see the world and for us to travel as we learn more about our world. We only have one life so enjoy it.”
What is something you have learned about yourself while on the road?
“I am used to being quite cold and distant in my feelings, but since I am here I am open to my feelings and my way of thinking. That is thanks to my Cast B19.”
What has been your biggest challenge on the road?
“My biggest challenge has been speaking English. Since I did not know the language, it was very difficult for me to express myself, especially during the first few weeks. Now it’s much better. I can understand much more and hold a conversation with people.”
What are your plans for after Up with People?
“My dad has a sports club in Barcelona called David Lloyd and I’m going to work there for a few months to learn Spanish. After that, I intend to work on my studies in Brussels in the field of design.”
Anything else you would like to add that you think would be important for others to know about Up with People or yourself?
“I think it’s sometimes difficult for people to get into Up with People thoroughly. Do not forget that you are lucky to be in this organization and to not forget why you are here! It is a unique chance to be here, so do not forget to take full advantage. It is maybe once in your life that you will experience this. I struggled to put myself in fully and sometimes I regret not having benefited from the beginning. But if you have a day of sadness, it is totally normal. You will come out more mature and stronger.”
“Problems, hang-ups, don’t you see,
Belong to yesterday.
This generation is future bound,
We’re hanging in there all the way.”
A New Dimension © Up with People