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Once a friend left to another country, I had a friend in another part of the world.

Maria Cecilia Cely’s words for International Day:

Good Morning,

When I was asked to say some words today as alumni, I was not sure where to start or what to say. I finally came to the conclusion that because it is International Day I should talk about what it was like to grow up in an International school and the effect it had in my life.

Throughout the 10 years that I was at CGB many people asked me if it wasn’t difficult or annoying that my friends would only stay in the school for 3 years and then leave, and my answer was always NO.

Although I had friends that only stayed at CGB for 2 to 3 years at a time, our friendship grew faster and stronger, perhaps because we knew we only had those few years to share. I met many people who came and went, and always waited anxiously for that new student to come in, wondering where they came from, which countries they had lived in, eager to learn about their culture. Knowing that once these friends left to another country, they would be friends I could count on around the world. This was something I came to discover was VERY true in these past 5 years since I graduated from CGB.

During this time I have had the opportunity to travel and every time I knew I was visiting a new place, I would go through my list of CGB contacts to see who was in that city at the time. And every time I messaged them, I was able to meet up with them, even if it was just for a cup of coffee.

What is incredible is that I did not necessarily meet with people from my own year group, sometimes these people were former teachers, because something amazing about CGB is that the idea that we are a family sticks with us even once we have left the school. And although many would think we have nothing in common after 5 or more years of not seeing each other, we will always have CGB. A place which is a second home for us, where we were able to create unforgettable memories, but most importantly we were able to create lifelong friends.

So for you guys who are still at CGB, I say: take advantage of this unique place, where you meet new people constantly, take the time to learn about their cultures, but most importantly cultivate your friendships because these will be your friends around the world.

So thank you CGB for giving me those friends who I can count with whenever and wherever.

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