My Taste of Abroad

Florida State University is more than just a world-class academic institution preparing you for a future career. We are a caring community of well-rounded individuals who embrace leadership, learning, service, and global awareness. With this in mind, which of these characteristics appeals most to you, and why?

If I ever felt like an outcast, now was the time. Loose brown hair, dark eyes, and olive toned skin, my Middle Eastern features were nothing like those of the other 500 or so passengers. As the plane rapidly reached a halt, the flight attendant announced, “Welcome to Takamatsu, Japan.”

Four months earlier, I could never have fathomed that I would be selected from a pool of St. Petersburg students to travel abroad to our Japanese Sister City. It wasn’t the travel that daunted me, or even the fact that I would make the journey with only one other student: it was the great prestige and responsibility that came along with pursuing this opportunity. As a first generation-American, I have been fortunate enough to be immersed in two different cultures, a lifestyle that has led me to recognize aspects of global citizenship that others might not see. As I look back to when I was sitting in City Hall awaiting my Sister City interview, feeling a surge of chills and a pang of cold sweat on my palms, I can’t help but recollect how uninformed and absent-minded I really was. I, at age sixteen, felt as though I knew the world: I understood the problems and, better yet, I could fix them. But the painful truth was that, in many ways, I didn’t...

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