ATLANTA — This summer’s Festival 16 brought together 500 players and coaches for a crash course in international culture and soccer from streetfootballworld, French hosts Sport dans la Ville, and peers representing 80 like-minded organizations.
Here’s what Destinee, Ler, and Lionel — the three players from Soccer in the Streets’ delegation — took away from the international travel experience, which included a week in Lyon and a stop in Amsterdam on the return leg.
What did you think about France?
Destinee: France connected me with a bunch of people around the world. France was a beautiful place. It was especially pretty at night. I didn’t enjoy the breakfast everyday, because it was very little to choose from. Visiting the church was also a great experience, because the upper side of France was very beautiful and unique. I enjoyed going out after getting back to the hotel to make food runs. The pizza was very good.
Ler: I think that France is a really wonderful place. It is really, really awesome. When I first arrived to Lyon, I was stunned because the city is amazing. I was very happy.
Lionel: When we first arrived in France, I was very happy because I made a lot of friends. They were brothers and sisters to me.
Do you think international travel has helped you grow as a person?
Destinee: Yes. It helped me open my eyes and see how different foreign places are from the United States.
Ler: The international travel helped me a lot, like for example you have to be early and on time. It is all about time management.
Lionel: Yes, my time management and always being on time.
What are the top five reasons that make international experiences so important for young adults?
- Broaden perspectives
- Teach cultural differences
- Teach about the importance of peace
- Give children a chance to see more than their city or the states
- To get the stamps on the passports =)
- Experience other cultures
- Learn new things and ideas
- Make new friends
- Help develop travel experience
- Have fun while traveling
- Be on time
- Following all the rules for the games
- Having fun while playing football
- Learn new things from others
- Meeting new friends and getting to know about the culture
Where is a place you would want to visit and why?
Destinee: Jamaica. I would want to visit there because I’ve only heard about how beautiful it is. I would love to actually see it.
Ler: Australia because I want to go see the kangaroos and other animals.
Lionel: France again. I would want to visit because my grandmother and uncle lived there and told me it’s a peaceful place.