Congratulations to Carmen Diaz, our latest microscholarship winner!

The Most Surprising Thing I Found Studying in the United States

Cameron from Venezuela just won $100 by sharing what surprised her about studying in the United States. Read more!

Congratulations Carmen Diaz from Venezuela studying at the University of Pittsburgh! She is the winner of our second microscholarship!

This is part of our microscholarship program where we award $100 every two weeks to international students.

Apply Today!

Read her winning essay below. 

One thing that has surprised me about studying in the United States is the huge diversity among students. I was expecting a lot of Americans but instead I found not only Americans but people from all over the world. It has been an incredible experience to know people from India, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, China and Iran among others. Learning different cultures, getting to know how their feelings are the same as mine and how we are all very different but so much alike at the same time. We all have dreams and fears and we all choose the United States as the country that will help us achieve those dreams.

Coming to study to the United States was a lifelong dream for me. My undergrad was in Telecommunications and coming to do a Master in a country that is a leader in many areas of technology and research was my goal as a professional. But I have to admit that sometimes I felt like I was not going to make it. I was really afraid and it took me long time to finally made the decision to come. Coming from a third world country like Venezuela I faced a lot of challenges, the first and most obvious being the language but I was also concern about my traditions. I constantly asked myself if was going to be able to adapt to this culture. My fears disappeared from the moment I enter orientation session. When I saw the huge diversity of students I realized that the US is a very welcoming country, how they embrace all the cultures and how that is such an important part of the experience of studying in the United States. Living and study in a different country, especially where your language isn’t spoken, requires courage and a positive attitude, but having found so many people in the same position as me has giving me the confidence to succeed.

In the same context it has been surprising for me how Americans want to share and make us part of their traditions but in very respectful and loving way. They know that we are foreign students and that we want to learn as much as we can not only in the classrooms but outside of it as well in the period of time we are going to be here so they are really enthusiastic about sharing local history and traditions. Here in Pittsburgh to follow any of the local sports teams like the Steelers, or the Penguins or the Pirates is such an important thing! Pittsburghers love and support their teams and they are very proud and they want us to feel the same way, so I have being invited to games, tail gates and all the fun activities related to sports. It have had the most amazing time sharing those traditions with my American friends.

I truly believe that after finishing my Master of Science of Telecommunications at the University of Pittsburgh I’m going to have a lot of opportunities not only because of the technical knowledge I’m gaining but for the cultural enrichment as well. I’ll have a broader perspective and I’ll become a citizen of the world capable of conquer all my goals and objectives in the future.

I know that there are a lot of other surprising things here in the United States, especially in comparison with Venezuela, (how people never carry cash, how they public transportation is so reliable, how cheap big stores like Walmart are, safety and security! how cleans public bathrooms are, etc.) but for me the diversity has been the most impressive because it has given me like I mentioned before confidence and had help me in my adaption process.

101615_dabfoto_Linkdin_prdadd_Friday-101Carmen Diaz

Venezuela, The University of Pittsburgh

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