For the past few years of my life, I have always told my friends and anyone who will listen that life is truly what you make it. I hope that anyone who is considering an exchange or any daunting experience with an obstacle in their way, let that be expenses or anything else, will not just accept it and instead do everything they can to achieve what they want.
I grew up in a lower-class family on Vancouver Island, yet I never let it dictate my life nor experiences. I applied to UBC with hopes to get into the university that seemed out of my reach, and when my parents asked me: “How do you expect to pay for four years at UBC in Vancouver?” I just said I would make it happen… and I did.
I graduated high school a semester early to work for an extra six months and save money for university, while also applying for every scholarship possible. In May of 2016 I was awarded the renewable Centennial Scholars Scholarship from the Vancouver Women’s Club to attend UBC.
Fast forward to February of my first year and I decided to apply for the Go Global Program. I knew that if I didn’t get a scholarship I could not afford to go on exchange, and therefore once again I told everyone I knew about my goals and after numerous applications I was awarded a scholarship from the Choquette family.
I, along with nine other students, was awarded the opportunity to go abroad full-time for two semesters because of our motivation, academic standing and lack of financial stability. If you are determined enough you can get almost anywhere you want to be. Last year I wanted to be in the city of Vancouver, and this year I am happy to be living in the South of France going to one of the country’s most elite private universities.
Sciences Po has brought the world closer together for me. The campus is extremely diverse, and I have met and connected with students from places I never thought I would. I am learning pieces of Arabic in conversations with friends, while studying French and conflicts in the Middle East, which previously were only headlines in the news for me.
I will never stop trying to experience and learn everything, and I will never stop pushing my limits and goals way beyond what they seemingly realistically should be. Whether it is going on exchange, travelling or anything else I encourage you to make life what you want it to be.
So, thank you Go Global for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I will see you next year, UBC.