“I cannot imagine my Yale experience without Cultural Connections. CC introduced me to such a caring and supportive cultural community on campus and allowed me to appreciate sociocultural issues from multiple perspectives.”

–Jinchen, CC 2012

“From the moment I got to Yale, I felt loved and supported because of the moments I have had in Cultural Connections. As a freshman, I got to hear the beautiful and diverse hopes and dreams of so many great people while talking about the cultural and social aspects of life that both connect and separate us. As a counselor for the program, my perspective flipped to the role of facilitating that feeling of connection and love that I felt my freshman year. In both experiences, I’ve been able to support and confide in great new friends that know me before the rest of Yale’s students even arrive. Each year as Cultural Connections comes to an end and the school year starts, I feel so many hearts and brilliant minds behind me making sure I never fall in the following year.”

–Abdul-Razak Zachariah, CC 2013

“CC was single-handedly the largest formative experience of my first two years on campus. Upon first arriving at Yale as a fresh-faced, public school kid from North Portland, I was immediately stricken by the brilliance of all of my peers. Never in my life had I been surrounded by such an incredibly talented group of individuals, and I was unsure of where I stood or whether I belonged amongst such an outstanding bunch. Most pressing of all, I was nervous of what lay ahead as I went through the process of trying to get oriented and plant my roots in New Haven. The biggest factor in helping me overcome that challenge was undoubtedly Cultural Connections, which played an unimaginably important role in shaping my time here at Yale. Through the atmosphere of acceptance radiating through the activities and interactions with my counselors and peers, the bevy of information provided to us, and the endless conversations with upperclassmen kind and willing enough to help me out, I was able to firmly dig my toes into the ground beneath my feet. As a counselor last year, I had an even richer experience on the other side of the process, dedicating myself to a new group of freshman that were every bit as nervous and excited as I was when I stumbled through Phelps Gate for the first time. Most rewarding of all were the friendships built through being a counselor. The sense of family fostered through Cultural Connections is something that extends far beyond the ending ceremony in August; these are relationships that will hold strong for the rest of our lives.”

–J.T. Flowers, CC 2013

“By affirming the value of my cultural background and connecting me to people in the Yale arts community, CC gave me the confidence and the resources I needed to navigate my first few weeks at Yale. The friends I made and the people my friends introduced me to have since become my Yale family, and I never would have found them if not for CC bringing us together.”

–Morgan Baker, CC 2017