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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Liz reflect on time in Brazil

So it took me a long time to write this post. I spent the holidays back in the states, worked for a semester in D.C., and now have finally returned to campus in Dallas, and my experience in Brazil has clearly shaped the way I look at the world and my place in it. I suppose this blog has taken such a long time to complete because in many ways, I am still not done processing how my experience abroad has affected my life. I think I brought back a piece of Brazil with me, imbedded deep within my character and thoughts, and it continues to play a role in my development as a nearly-graduated college student/soon-to-be professional adult.
As a country, Brazil has been truly blessed with great natural beauty, both in terms of landscape and people. The geography varies greatly from region to region, but almost all the country is permeated with a sense of wonder and respect for the wealth of nature it possesses—be it beaches or forests or anything in between. The people in general are large-hearted, excited to be exposed to new people and ideas, and eager to share their culture and opinions and views on life.
The economy and the country as a whole are experiencing a period of newfound stability and prosperity that results in an almost tangible energy in the attitudes and outlooks of the people. They seem genuinely excited for what the future holds in store; I have certainly never been faced with such widespread optimism here in the U.S. during my life thus far—a time which has largely been characterized by terrorism, unending military conflicts, and economic troubles. There are lessons to be learned from that optimism, and I can only hope that my still-developing understanding of it will continue to guide me as I figure out how to contribute to a brighter future for the U.S. in an increasingly interconnected world.
All in all, my experiences in Brazil were extremely valuable on both a personal and professional level. I am much more aware of the forces of globalization and economic improvement, but also much more aware of how I fit into the equation and what I may be capable of achieving in the coming years. Thank you, Brazil and all those I met there, for reinvigorating and refining my earlier dreams of helping enact up-to-date and meaningful economic change in the U.S. and in the world.

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