This is a guest blog from Kelsie Royal, a volunteer of GlobalLEAD

Studying abroad with Global LEAD in Cape Town, South Africa this past summer was the single most defining experience of my life. I have never been so challenged, encouraged to grow or ecstatic for an entire five week period.

I always had interest in studying abroad, but when I came across the Global LEAD program I knew it was the trip for me. This trip offers so much more than taking classes in a different country; it offers immeasurable growth and the invaluable opportunity to give back. The volunteering aspect of Global LEAD, the opportunity to immerse myself in the community I was living in, was what sold me on the trip. I did not think it was possible to experience such growth in such a short time, but the experience I had studying abroad brought upon unfathomable change in my life. I learned what living to the fullest meant, breathing in every second of everyday. I learned to seize every opportunity, no matter how scary bungee jumping off the highest bridge in the world is. I learned to love people for their joy, even if we don't speak the same language. I learned to chase after the craziness of life, and to never settle for living in your comfort zone.

The incredible staff of Global LEAD and the unbelievable friendships you form with fellow global leaders make this trip stand out even more. I cannot adequately express my passion for the program in words, or the indescribably lasting impact it had on my life.

Kelsie Royal is a student at the University of Georgia who volunteered abroad in Cape Town with Global LEAD.