Life can sometimes feel like a fight. From time to time we’re faced with punches, kicks, fish hooks or jabs, that come in the form of challenges, obstacles, and sometimes failures. Growing up in a low-income country, I made myself through education in our public schools, in a classroom with over 60 classmates, sometimes sitting on the floor or sharing one wooden student desk for 2-3 people. Because most of us had no money to buy books every year, we had to wait for the school to give us used books from students from previous years. Many were the times when I got books with no covers, food stains or missing pages! The possibility of actually studying in the United States of America was only something I had envisioned in my daydreams after watching Hannah Montana, my favorite show growing up. But thanks to the Global UGRAD Program, that dream was turned into reality.
During my exchange semester, I was placed at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Metropolitan Campus – a college that is $2.50 dollars away from New York City! I had the chance of exploring the five boroughs of the city AND still got to live in New Jersey. The people I met during my exchange were definitely the key for such a great experience. There are no words to describe how I feel about what I’ve been through then by saying: KHANIMABO ~ which means `THANK YOU´ in my native language, Changana.
After returning to Mozambique, I’ve used the knowledge from my experience to overcome all of the challenges I’ve faced, because I learned over my 22 trips around the sun that regardless of how hard something might be, if I have grit, I will overcome it and set an example for those who come after me. I have recently graduated from college and gotten my BBA diploma. I am now working as a Business Consultant and recently joined the Rotaract Club of my city. I have also become a member of the Toastmasters Club and have also been helping at the Youth Power Group in my neighborhood. I can´t wait for what the future holds and now thanks to the Global UGRAD, I know that regardless of how I show up, I’m enough and that is not up for debate!
Written by Xana Maunze, 2017-18 Global UGRAD student from Mozambique at Fairleigh Dickinson University