My name is Sofije Zenuni and I am from Kosovo. I studied international business at Iliria College in Kosovo and I graduated in June 2020. I’m lucky to call myself an alumna of Global UGRAD 2020 at Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont.
When I first applied for this scholarship, I had no doubt that there were better candidates who deserved it more than I did. I wasn’t sure that I would get in. But it was a dream come true!
While most of us don’t want to wake up from a good dream, I got the opportunity to live my dream at Castleton, where I met my amazing roommate, Eloim, who is from Haiti and with whom I still keep in touch. I made a lot of other friends who became family and who took care of each other during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
My experience in the United States, even though it had its ups and downs because of COVID-19, was an amazing and enriching experience. It taught me a lot about people and the world. Even though I was the only Kosovar at Castleton University, everyone there made me feel like I was at home. It was the home I longed for and that made it the best adventure of my life. It gave me a purpose and it changed my life for the better.
After coming back to Kosovo, I finished my studies and continued working for the community. I became a manager of Hiking Zone (Mountain Association in Ferizaj) and co-founded the non-formal group “Terra,” the main goal of which is raising awareness about protecting the Earth and keeping a cleaner environment.
Global UGRAD has brought out the best in me and has given me the greatest experience of my life!