Marina Schipani was a senior at Florida State University when we met in 2018. Besides being one of the most determined students I had met so far, she is wonderfully considerate and professional. She applied as soon as the summer internships opened and immediately asked for an interview for the Fall semester. After getting to know her a bit more, we soon had her onboard. Although we had some other candidates in the mix, Dreams Abroad is the organization it is because of its team.
What made you contemplate studying abroad?
“I was born and raised in the same town, so I haven’t had the opportunity to really get out there and see the world. For vacations, we mostly traveled stateside. I also went to college in my home state. I have a really strong desire to get out there and see the world. This stemmed from my passion for literature, theatre, and film. I love the feeling of being immersed in something new. I’m eager to reach outside of my comfort zone and expose myself to new people and cultures through traveling abroad.”
What were your expectations before you left? How have they changed?
“I expected to begin my study abroad journey in the summer of 2016, but unfortunately, shortly before I was set to leave, a few of my family members became ill. I knew I had to stay. My family means everything to me. I had so many hopes and dreams for that summer abroad. Certainly didn’t expect to have to let them all go so abruptly. I just kept telling myself that everything happens for a reason. While I was initially heartbroken, I became grateful for the time I spent with my family. My drive to study abroad only became stronger.”
What did you not expect?
“I did not expect to have to change my plans so drastically. I have been planning to study abroad since my freshman year of college in 2015. Every semester there seemed to be a new reason why that year was not the year. I began to feel really disappointed. It was as if I was never going to live my study abroad dream. But, despite all the setbacks, I remained hopeful. It’s so important not to give up on your dreams. Things are going to happen when they are meant to, and when they do happen, it’s often even greater than we can imagine.”
What’s your next step?
“I’m off to London! I am finally studying abroad in the spring of 2019. It feels so great to be spending my final semester of college honing my craft at Florida State University’s Theatre Academy London. I am humbled to have this opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. I can’t wait to see what new dreams my study abroad experience will inspire.”
What advice would you give to a student with the dream to study abroad?
“Don’t give up, study abroad students! It is going to be challenging and there will most certainly be bumps in the road. Set your goal and don’t falter until you’ve made it to the finish line – even if it takes you over three years to get there! Be honest about how you’re feeling and go with your gut. Only you have the power to make your dreams a reality.”
After Marina’s interview, I knew that she would be a great addition to our organization! She has the same “goo-goo-ga-ga” romance for adventure and travel that we all do! She understands our quest and most importantly, our mission. We are thrilled to have her on our team! Since she will soon be studying abroad in the Spring semester, she will be working with classmates and other study abroad students from all over to find out more.