Alumni Update: Elizaveta Ivanova – Russia

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  A sent application for the Global UGRAD program was the first step which resulted in this amazing journey and which made me the happiest person in the world. It was a journey of a thousand miles indeed, a journey on another continent, in the country, where I have been dreaming to go since my childhood. It was my forth time sending an application to an exchange program, but I was persistent as I know that nothing can be easy in our lives, so if we really want something we should try, and try, and try. So finally I did it!

The Global UGRAD program was the best period of my life! I cannot express how much I’ve got from this experience, how many amazing people I met and how many things I’ve realized. It is priceless to me!

I met my dearest friends: Helen, a wonderful Ukrainian girl, Hiba, a kind and caring Lebanese, and Alex, a loud and artistic girl from Paraguay. We spent an amazing time together! We traveled a lot! Together with Helen we went to my dream city – New York City, and even now I cannot stop thinking about it. I have dreams about this city; I almost start crying when I see the narrow busy streets of NYC in the movies. World Learning has given me the dream of a lifetime. Now I know that nothing is impossible to a willing mind.

I fell in love with the American people: those who are ready to help you at any time, they do not care what nationality you are, or what your worldview is. They just want to help you, to show you their amazing country, their beautiful nature, their delicious food (however, sometimes, American food was quite unusual for me). I met a wonderful couple in Fayetteville, NC (my American city). We got to know each other at the airport and we stayed in touch during all my stay in America! They invited me and my friends to their house, went to the beach with us, and showed us the outskirts of North Carolina. I am so grateful to them. They took care of me as I was their granddaughter! Never in my life have I met such great people!

And of course, I want to thank all the World Learning team for an amazing workshop they made for us in D.C.! It was awesome, every day with these people was full of energy, laugh and lots of talks. I wish I could have all you guys next to me now! You are amazing, hard-working, ambitious, and inspiring! And I am proud to be a part of the Global UGRAD family!

To conclude my letter, I want to remind each of you a great quote that was told to us during the workshop. It helps me every time I get scared of making some complicated decision. “Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d like to see you living in better conditions”. Never forget about it!

Written by Elizaveta Ivanova, 2017-2018 Global UGRAD student from Russia at Fayetteville State University