Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thank You

It was about 6:30 on a Sunday evening here in Perugia, Italy when I started writing this. That was about a week ago, on June 3rd. I am now more than a week into my first study abroad experience here in Italy, and I've just now found the time to finish collecting my thoughts and finish writing this post.

I wanted to express my gratitude to a few people for all of the help they have given me leading up to this experience (and maybe even throughout it). I’ll be here in Perugia from June until mid-December of this year. I had originally planned to post this entry before leaving Grand Rapids, but as you might imagine, things got a little hectic appena prima di partire (just before leaving).

First off, I'd like to thank Professor John Constantelos of Grand Valley State University for his guidance throughout the process of registering for this program. Actually, I could even go further and thank him for creating this program--especially since it fits me like a glove!

Professoressa Gisella Licari, my Italian professor at Grand Valley for the past two years, also deserves a special thank you for her commitment to teaching students Italian and for guiding me in the way of language learning. From her, I have become comfortable enough with the language to the point where now, as I make my way around Perugia, I am pretty well understood by the residents of the city (I've even heard a few compliments). Her flattering recommendations also allowed me to snag two important scholarships!

Victoria Powers, Amanda Cuevas, and Judy Stilley are others I would like to thank as well. Thanks to their letters of recommendation and support, I was able to win other scholarships to help finance this trip. Without their help, that definitely would not have been possible. Moreover, each of them has been a great source of knowledge and a pillar of support.

The staff of the Padnos International Center (PIC) at Grand Valley (especially Mark Schaub and Rebecca Hambleton) was also instrumental in making this study abroad possible. Their knowledge about all things international made the process of applying for a visa and scholarships a smoother ride than expected. If you are a GVSU student interested in studying abroad, definitely swing by the PIC in Lake Ontario Hall and ask for help!

I'd also like to thank the Grand Rapids Sister Cities International (GRSCI) Perugia Committee for granting me another month's stay here in the form of a fantastic one-month scholarship. A special thank you to Priscilla Boike, acting chair, Dr. Ruggero Battan, and Emily Frigo for their help throughout a bit of confusion regarding my status as a scholarship winner. If you are interested in learning more about this great committee, the scholarship program, the Sister Cities project, or the events they sponsor, take a look at their site.

To Mr. Mark Murray and Mrs. Elizabeth Murray: I very much appreciate your generosity in financing the Murray Study Abroad Scholarship. It is my sincere wish that through the updates and pictures of my stay abroad that I plan to send you, I can do my part to demonstrate what makes funding this scholarship truly worthwhile.

A special thank you as well to the Michigan College Access Programs and Personnel (MI-CAPP) Committee of the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP). The MI-CAPP Study Abroad Scholarship was another great source of funding for this trip. To Professor Polly Diven and the rest of the International Relations committee, thank you. I was honored to be considered for the International Relations Study Abroad Scholarship.

And, of course, a big thank you to my co-workers (Judy, Sue K., Alicia, Jen, Sarah, Sue H., Steve, Jason, Angie & Alessandra) at the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Van Belkum branch for not only making my first job a wonderful experience, but also for putting together an impromptu “Van Belkum Travel Scholarship” especially for me. You guys are the best! Be on the look-out for postcards!

Y, quizás, a los que mas les debo dar las gracias son a mis padres. Sin su ayuda y apoyo, nada de esto sariá posible. Aunque me hacen mucha falta en este momento, sé que tarde o temprano me hare la idea de que así debe de ser para realmente experimentar el mundo. Los próximos seis meses serán un tiempo de crecimiento. Habrán partes difíciles, partes agradables, y cosas que cambiaran mi modo de pensar. Entre todo eso, estoy agradecido de tener su bendición.

So, stay tuned for my thoughts on Perugia: adesso sei sotto una pioggia di parole.

1 comment:

  1. Please feel free to comment. I'd love to hear your thoughts!