Gram Durbin

Reflections from my International Leadership Internship Program in Germany

I can earnestly say that without a doubt, my experience with the 2023 International Leadership Internship Program in Germany was one of the most unique opportunities I’ve had in my life. Prior to the experience, I had never considered traveling abroad and knew little about where I was going or what I was doing. Throughout my trip, however, I got to see and experience things that you never consider as an everyday American. As I learned of different perspectives, my own evolved along the way. To immerse yourself in a foreign culture is humbling, and I feel one can become a more sensitive/mindful person ton the other side. The work that I had the opportunity to be a part of was also excellent. I was proud to have contributed to the great work that Dr. Maslo and Mr. Koltinsky have done in preparation for their ‘Outdoor Heroes’ camps next year. It was a true honor to assist with furthering the educational legacy of Arne Næss.

Throughout my time in Kronach, everyone was nothing but incredibly kind, helpful, and resourceful. Everyone worked tirelessly to ensure my experience was the least intimidating it could possibly be, and for that, I am grateful. I don’t believe I have ever received a more wholesome educational opportunity with regard to environmental studies, anthropology, history, politics, and so much more. I am very excited to use this experience as an educational tool for my students. I have nothing but good things to say about the program, the Ökologischen Bildungsstätte, Dr. Maslo, and his team, the Lucas-Cranach-Campus, as well as Mr. Koltinsky from the Jay N. Darling Legacy Center. My sincerest gratitude extends to all of those parties, and to everyone else that also worked to deliver me such a positive experience.

In the end, if you ever have the opportunity to partner with the Ökologischen Bildungsstätte, Jay N. Darling Legacy Center, Lucas-Cranach-Campus, or any of these parties for your own educational development, I would highly recommend taking the opportunity. It will be an experience you will not forget, and one that I guarantee you will learn something valuable from.

Gram Durbin

July 2023