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ALUMNI PROFILE

HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE IN ITALY AFFECTED YOUR LIFE BACK HOME? My two experiences in Florence, once as a senior in high school and once as a junior in college, allowed me to learn valuable life lessons that I was able to bring back home with me. Reflecting back on my time, I believe that it greatly expanded my cultural bubble. Being immersed in Italian culture – living in the same building as locals, going to my placement at the local hospital, meeting students from the area, speaking the language - taught me so much more about the culture than I ever could have learned from a textbook. Having such an immersive first-hand experience seemed daunting at first, but upon coming home, I brought with me an open mind, and the knowledge that I cannot truly understand another culture’s norms, traditions, and beliefs, without intermingling myself in them first. IF YOU LOOK AT YOUR TIME BEFORE FUA AND YOUR TIME AFTER LEAVING FLORENCE, HOW DID YOUR SENSE OF IDENTITY CHANGE? Before going to FUA, I had always been in my comfort zone. I had gotten used to being in a community where everyone was more-or-less like me; there was little room for diversity. My sense of identity reflected much

upon what my peers were like. After spending time at FUA, this changed. I met people from all over the world – France, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand – not just from Italy or the United States. Amongst spending time with people, who were seemingly very different from me, it forced me to really think about who I am, who I was, and who I will be. My culture, my experiences, my strengths and weaknesses...they were all very different than the people I was surrounded by - and that is what made my experience so much more worthwhile. Although it may seem contradictory, by learning about others’ cultures in a country foreign to me, I was able to learn more about my own culture and background as well. Being “different” from my peers for the first time forced me to think about myself as an individual, rather than part of a collective whole. I think this is something that we all need in our lives and I am so thankful that I was able to come to know both others and myself because of FUA. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? I plan on going to to medical school after graduation. I am still unsure about a residency focus, but I am thinking Oncology or Radiology for now. I should in theory stay in the US but my preference is to try living elsewhere.

BLENDING

BLENDING Magazine Spring 2019  

The latest Blending Magazine has been released. The Spring 2019 issue was inspired by the FUA spring conference theme Caterina De' Medici: 5...

BLENDING Magazine Spring 2019  

The latest Blending Magazine has been released. The Spring 2019 issue was inspired by the FUA spring conference theme Caterina De' Medici: 5...

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