Studying abroad in China was the furthest thing from my mind this time last year. I only just started taking my first year of Mandarin at USF and had big dreams of being the US Ambassador to China, hoping that by the grace of God I’d one day make it overseas. At the same time, I wanted to be a Boren Award winner since my 2nd year, but never thought it was possible. At HCC, I was a new student with no connections to learning Mandarin or anything about China academically and no valid references. I also figured that there was probably so many applicants that my chances would be slim be slim to none. Now, in less than 19 hours, I will arrive in Shanghai and begin my 9 month journey in China at the University of Nottingham in Ningbo China as USF Bull and Boren scholar. I am incredibly unprepared for all that awaits me, but I’m optimistic about it. I feel incredibly blessed and I’m very thankful to my family, friends, church members, USF staff and to Boren for supporting me and getting me to the other side of the world to chase my dreams. I’m scared and anxious, but I’m also excited and hopeful that I’ll have an amazing year abroad!