Each month, one winner from the Academic Program and one winner from the Intensive English Program will be selected. Check back often! The essay question for January is:
What is your New Year's resolution?
Please send a brief essay and a photograph of yourself to email@example.com by Monday, January 5 in order to be considered as a winner!
Winners receive a certificate and a letter of congratulation, and winning essays will be featured on this page!
Academic Program Winner
Name: Giovana De Andrade Resende
Field of Study: Medicine
U.S. Host Institution: University of Southern Indiana
Institution in Brazil: Universidade de Uberaba
"What are my plans for winter break? I am going to come back to my "normal" life. It is time to go back home.
This experience for me was amazing, the chance of studying abroad for one year and a half was a dream come true, when the truth is even better than dreamed. I met people that I will never forget, real friends for life, Americans and non-Americans, and I have been to places that I never thought that I would be able to visit in such a young age. Some people ask me where I liked most, but it is impossible to decide: Miami, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, and even my small Evansville, each one has its own unique beauty.
I have been asked a lot recently if I want to go back to Brazil, and the funny part is that I am always responding in a different way. There are days that I say "Yes!" with conviction. Other days I say "No! Definitely not!". The truth is that a big part of me doesn't want to stop living this dream, while another part is ready to see my family and come back to the old life and realize another big dream of becoming a doctor.
I learned so many things here: a new culture, a new language, new subjects, and I will go back a different person than arrived here. I love my country, but I fell in love with the United States. I will miss having four seasons in a year. I will miss the advanced infrastructure, which is especially evident at the University. I will miss how secure I felt here. When I left Brazil I knew that I would end up going back home, but now I cry because there is no coming back soon.
In conclusion, the answer for this question is that, willing or not, this winter I am going to the Brazilian summer. Taking with me a huge suitcase of great memories."
Intensive English Program Winner
Name: Isabelle De Carvalho Von Randow
Field of Study: Geology
U.S. Host Institution: State University of New York, Plattsburgh
Institution in Brazil: Universidade Federal Do Espirito Santo
"In my winter break, I want to get my feet wet - try something new. I'd like to learn how to make a real gingerbread man, and a traditional "kissing ball." I want to ski for the first time, to explore the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains, and to visit Lake Placid in NY where the Winter Olympics of 1932 and 1980 were hosted. Now that I became a friend of Santa Claus in freezing weather, surrounded by all this snow, I definitely want to go to warmer weather, because I miss the sun so much! I can see myself jumping the waves of the sea in Miami, FL.
Guess what? I also want to update my reading; Truman Capote waits for me with his interesting histories like "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood." What about exploring new museums? I study Gemology and I love to visit collections of minerals and gems.
In conclusion, after a lot of hard work, I can't wait to enjoy my winter break without needing to "follow the clock's rules." I want to enjoy my coffee with chocolate, and listen to the sound of the hours going "tick-tock."