Gcs Outward Bound

Outward Bound Experience

Greater China Scholars have the opportunity to participate in the one-week Outward Bound Program. The wilderness adventure, challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally, is designed to develop scholars’ personal character, leadership capacity, and ability to work with others. Through the experience, students learn from success as well as from failure, manage risks and explore leadership in challenging settings, and develop meaningful friendships with other Notre Dame scholars.

Jingyi “Angel” Lai, double majoring in Sociology and Economics with a minor in Asian Studies, participated in the Texas Backpacking Outward Bound Program during the spring break of Spring 2022. Together with other Notre Dame scholars, she spent three days in the Big Bend National Park hiking through the desert for over 20 miles with a 60-pound backpack. She learned rock climbing, navigating with maps, cooking meals using gas stoves, setting up camping sites, and filtrating water. In addition to mastering wilderness survival skills, Angel developed a deep understanding of supporting each other with humility and respect.

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“Humility is when you patiently wait for those who fell behind, leave the opportunity for others given you were confident you could make it, and respect each others’ beliefs and backgrounds… When we were climbing a mountain, I kept thinking about a book titled Educated. The Chinese translation of the book title is ‘when you fly like a bird to your hill’. I joked about how silly the translation was – who would translate a word into a sentence? However, at that specific moment, it occurred to me why. Looking down at the mountains we’ve conquered, I never felt so enlightened. We were indeed like birds flying freely towards our goals in life. Just like what we’ve learned from this exhausting trip, education brought us suffering along with wisdom.” - Angel Lai ’25