Explore a new world while staying in Memphis


Bianca Dishmon

Bianca Dishmond smiles for a picture with her new friends from the Governor’s School for International Studies.

Bianca Dishmon, Reporter

The night before I went to Governor’s School for International Studies (GSIS), which was taking place at the University of Memphis, I was sick. In all the days leading up to it, I was very excited, but as the date grew nearer I desperately tried to find a way to get out of going. Despite my trying, I ended up going to Governor’s School, and it became one of the best experiences of my life.

Before attending GSIS, I had my reservations about staying in Memphis, but it was an interesting experience to see how people from other cities viewed it. When I arrived, I was pleasantly greeted by my month-long schedule, filled with classes, cultural immersions, guest speakers, excursions around Memphis, and a host of RAs and other students that would make me once again excited to be attending. 

Classes began Monday morning with anthropology, where I learned about a wide variety of topics spanning from adolescence to economics to cultural relativism, Portuguese, where I learned both the language and traditional Portuguese songs and dances, and international issues, where I learned about globalization, all classes that allowed me to expand my worldview.

The last class of the day was a reading group, during which I focused on a period of history that I had never heard of prior to GSIS, the Troubles of Northern Ireland that began in the 1960s. Often in the evenings, we would have guest speakers as well, including a Rwandan genocide survivor, an economic professor from Tulane, and many more.  

While there were great amounts of work to do, we were also given a lot of freedom, during which I was able to form friendships with the other 49 students. These friendships were the most valuable thing to come out of GSIS, as they not only provided a supportive environment throughout the month, but I also was able to meet people from all across Tennessee with different cultural backgrounds. 

When it was time to leave GSIS, I tried to stall for as long as I could because I was so upset to leave such a diverse and supportive community. For anybody who has been contemplating about to Governor’s School, more specifically GSIS, I strongly advise you to do it because it will expose you to so many interesting classes not traditionally offered in high school, and it will most likely be one of the best experiences of your life.