Before we move forward, I would like to take the time to say hello. My name is Sierra Francis, and I am a senior at the University of South Florida studying Political Science and International Studies. Thanks to the generosity of President Genshaft and Mr. Greenbaum, donors of the Genshaft/Greenbaum Passport Scholarship Endowed Fund, and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship I will be spending a month in Russia with the USF in Russia Study Abroad Program!
I’ll be the first to admit it was a spontaneous decision! Last summer, I was scrolling through my newsfeed seeing all my friends actually LIVE. There I was spending my life watching everyone live theirs. Refusing to stay stagnant in my life, I registered for Russian language courses. I made a pact with myself. If I could manage to earn A’s in Beginning Russian I and II I would commit to the USF in Russia Study Abroad Program!
Throughout the year I struggled to roll my R’s, memorize the different types of cases, and pick up additional shifts at work. I dedicated two hours a night to my class assignments, I picked up two additional jobs, and started coupon clipping. After a year of many challenges, I earned an A in both courses, and saved enough money to fund my trip! I leave for Moscow in less than a week! Speaking of which, I still have yet to pack. Before I ravage through my closet to begin packing, I’ll leave you with a quote from Helen Keller that inspired me to make that “spontaneous” decision.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”