The Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) is a selective leadership development programme for rising high school juniors and seniors. YYGS does not only expand the participant’s leadership skills, but also challenges them with university level material. As of 2016, six courses are offered in the programme: Biological and Biomedical Science; Politics, Law, and Economics; International Affairs and Security; Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Applied Science and Engineering; and Sustainability, Energy and Environment. The Yale Young Global Scholars requires an application, which consists of five parts: a resume, an official school transcript, two letters of recommendation, standardised test score (optional) and essays.
The programme brings together talented, motivated, and inspirational scholars from around the world. Students get exposed to a variety of course related topics through lectures, seminars, and open ended discussions. The lecture is done mainly by Yale faculty members, while the discussion section revolves around the students sharing different ideas and perspectives on the lecture. These discussions not only heighten one’s understanding of the topic, but also allow the students to learn about cultures and lifestyles of people from around the globe. In addition, the scholars will collaborate with each other on a capstone project based on a topic which they are assigned and for which an academic research database is provided by Yale.
The residential life is another very important aspect of the programme. Students will be able to live on Yale’s University campus for two weeks; they will be able to subtly experience what college life is like through living in and sharing a dorm room with their peers. Sharing a suite or a room with scholars who may live from across the globe allows for cultural exchange. During the two weeks of the programme, YYGS offers a variety of campus tours to scholars, which range from Yale’s research facility in the West Campus, The Cushing’s Centre, to the British Art Gallery Tour. With the rigorous schedule, participants will often time relax with a game of pool in the games room or Frisbee in the courtyard during their free time. Apart from the classes, students are given the opportunity to audition for the Speaker’s Series and the Talent Show. Both listening to inspirational stories from other talented youth in the Speaker’s Series or singing along to a song with everyone in the Talent Show, are just amazing experiences that one will remember and cherish in the future. The Yale Young Global Scholars programme has been inspiring students from around the globe, to not only dwell deeper into subject areas they love but also open up to people and other cultures in the world.
I chose to attend YYGS because of my interest in science. I attended the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS) course because I wanted to further study biology, since I found my biology class at school fascinating. Biology courses at school are often times very structured; we learn about ideas that directly connect to biology. However, at YYGS my vision on the field of Biological and Biomedical Sciences was enhanced greatly due to the structure of the classes there. The lectures not only focused on topics which we learn at school, but combined those topics and built off of them to explore more ideas. One example is a lecture on the usage of music to improve stethoscopes auscultatory skills for new doctors and nurses. These lectures that introduce ideas that will never be taught in a regular biology class are what scholars get to learn and talk about in discussion groups, not only allowing them to learn about new ideas but to see real life applications of biological and biomedical sciences as well.
My favourite aspect about the programme was definitely the people. The people who attended the course were probably the friendliest group I have ever met. Randomly sitting at a table with people who you have never talked to can lead you to becoming best friends. Everyone was talented, motivated, and shared an interest in the same area of study. Sharing a room and suite with people who have a totally different background was an astounding experience. Learning about my friends’ cultures and their opinions on different ideas contributed to long lasting friendships that will extend far beyond the two weeks at Yale.