I come from a small Eastern European country, and since I was young, did not have the same opportunities to travel and have international experiences exploring the world as other students might have had. My first chance at travel happened when a scholarship was offered to me by the US government, giving me the chance of living and studying abroad in the US for almost a year. Later, I was awarded funding that gave me the opportunity to travel through some European countries where I worked on developing my leadership and communicational skills. I was even offered funding to initiate my own volunteering programs. The most meaningful scholarship allowed me to become an NYU Shanghai student, equal to everyone else, regardless of my financial status. I therefore want to say a big thank you to all the people who gave me the chance to become who I am right now. Because of you, a poor girl who couldn't afford to leave her own country was able to explore 3 different continents, multiple cultures and pursue her dream of becoming someone who not only speaks, but takes action to makes positive changes.
——Marcela Railean, Class of 2018 student