Several years ago people started asking me, “Where would you like to study?,” “Which country do you want to visit the most?” I had only one answer, “THE U.S.A.” When my friends were dreaming about seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris or having fun in Rome, I was dreaming about how to climb the Statue of Liberty and see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. But the most desirable thing that I wanted to do in the USA was to study there. So, I started to follow my dream.
I had applied to different programs but was refused many times. I did not give up. I was continuing to follow my dream. I was enrolled in a Ukrainian university with faith that one day I would get this opportunity.
Once I came from the university to home and just switched on my laptop and opened Facebook. I started scrolling and stumbled upon the announcement about the call for applications for Global UGRAD. I clicked the link, read all information and started to act. During that month I was writing the essays, collecting the recommendation letters and transcripts, and filling out the long application form. A month later, I got the call from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine with congratulations on passing stage 1. Moving forward toward my dream I had a Skype interview and took the TOEFL. And in April I got the congratulations letter where it was written, “You have been selected as a FINALIST!”
At that moment I was the happiest person in the world. The dream that I have wished the most became true!
Pre-departure meetings, the visa process, and a few other things – and now I am here in the USA attending an American university for the spring semester! And now standing on the American soil, I want to thank all who believed, helped, and supported me. I know that there is nothing I can achieve alone. It was possible by all of you!
I want to encourage dreaming and following your dream anywhere. But the most important thing is to act. Do something in order to reach a dream.
And remember, “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”- Paulo Coelho
Written by Vladyslav Shapoval, 2018-2019 Global UGRAD student from Ukraine at University of Houston-Victoria