Alumni Spotlight: El Salvador

Elsy Alvarez at West Virginia University

Hey there! I am Elsy Alvarez from El Salvador and I attended West Virginia University during the 2022 Spring semester. I come from a humble family in a tiny city in the smallest country on the American continent, far from globalization and global trends. My experience traveling abroad and attending a university in the United States is not the most usual thing among people like me. My Global UGRAD experience changed my life, opened my eyes to the world, and changed my perspective forever, inspiring me to dream even bigger and work harder.

I knew that like me, others could reach their goals too, so I decided to go back to the English academy where I learned English during my teenage years and tell my story to inspire others and encourage them to keep learning the language and giving their best every day. Soon other platforms opened their doors to me and invited me to share my experience with their communities as well.

I was able to speak with students from different universities and digital communities on social media, Zoom meetings, Facebook live, and Q&A sessions on Instagram Stories, all of which helped me reach those who seek opportunities to succeed. Before I realized it, I had inspired more than 250 people from all different parts of my country to be a better version of themselves every day and take challenges when they come. Listening about my international friends, my trips within the United States, my experiences in a U.S. university classroom, and all that I learned there gave rise to new dreams in their hearts.

I was also able to conduct an online seminar about women’s role in international development, all based on the knowledge I attained from an elective course I took during my exchange semester. Now my final semester of school is over and I am just a thesis project away from graduating as an engineer. I do not stop dreaming about creating new projects that empower youth to achieve their potential and their dreams.