University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Italy
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
I cannot adequately express how grateful I am to the Dara Kaufman Foundation for granting me this opportunity. While I did not have the pleasure of knowing Dara, I feel connected to her legacy and privileged to have been chosen to honor her spirit.
Without this award, my experience abroad would not have been possible. The generosity of this scholarship gave me the opportunity of traveling to Reggio Emilia, Italy where I lived for five months. During my time abroad, I attended the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, held an internship teaching English at Scuola Media Da Vinci, and traveled throughout Italy as well as France, Germany, England and Scotland.
Moving to a new place by myself, especially one where I didn’t speak the primary language was both intimidating and liberating. It pushed me to new limits, empowered me to believe in myself, trust my instincts, and most importantly - how to connect with other cultures. This experience is still today, the most impressionable one of my life. When I reflect on what shaped me during this coming to age time, my time abroad is the first thing that comes to mind. I discovered so much about the world, human connection, and life itself.
I think that there is a lot of pressure to figure it all out in our early twenties; it can be easy to put things on hold and to choose what seems to be a more “practical” route. This experience taught me to live in the moment, to travel and absorb what the world has to offer, and that it’s okay to get a little lost and figure everything out as you go. I am forever grateful to the Kaufman Foundation for allowing these valuable lessons to be given to me.