Selin Capan ’21 RGLP Reflection: Montreal: Going Out of My Comfort Zone

Each fall, winter, and spring, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) brings together 25 student leaders to increase their understanding of global leadership and intercultural competency. Through weekly sessions with speakers and a culminating experience to either Boston, Montreal, or New York City, the students are able to learn about themselves and cross-cultural leadership. The Spring 2019 cohort spent a weekend in Montreal as part of their culminating experience.

The trip to Montreal has definitely been the highlight of my RGLP experience. Leading up to the trip, I had no idea what the trip would entail. As someone who likes to plan ahead and has never been on a trip without knowing the schedule, this was very much out of my comfort zone. At first, I thought: what if I don’t like one of the activities, or maybe I can’t participate well because I wasn’t prepared? This trip was also my first time in Montreal, so I was worried that I might get lost in such a big city. However, as I spent more time with my cohort and attended more RGLP sessions, I started to get excited about the trip. If the trip was anything like the sessions, I thought it would be great. 

In the end, our weekend in Montreal was even better than I imagined. Being in such a diverse city, we were able to learn about a variety of cultures through numerous workshops. In the activities where I was introduced to a culture I never interacted with before, my predications were right– I was uncomfortable at times and stepping out of my comfort zone was challenging. However, these activities were also the ones I enjoyed the most because they widened my understanding of different cultures. 

In addition, having the freedom of just experiencing these activities without thinking about what was coming next helped me enjoy each activity more. By just focusing on learning from our current activity, I was able to channel all my energy into the present moment and, in turn, get more out of every activity. Experiencing this ambiguity with the rest of my RGLP group was also a great way to bond with them as we learned and explored together. Overall, going to Montreal was an amazing experience that allowed me grow, embrace ambiguity and learn to be comfortable with stepping out of my comfort zone. 

-Written by Selin Capan ’21, Spring 2019 RGLP Participant 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.