A first-generation college student, ODI Scholar and international studies major, Alanna Strickland studied abroad on the Genocide and Its Aftermath in Rwanda program in summer 2022 with support from The Boshara-Iannotti Family Scholarship for Young Scholars Studying Abroad and the Keith and Linda Monda International Experiences Scholarship.
My time in Rwanda was something that I thought I would never experience, being able to go abroad in general seemed impossible where I come from. My three weeks in Rwanda is something that I am still reflecting on and an experience that I wish did not end. Every part of the trip was memorable, even the times when I was exhausted and did not want to leave my bed.
The people were amazing, the food was delicious, and the scenery has been the most beautiful things that I have witnessed. Everyone there was welcoming and my professor, Hollie Nyseth Nzitatira, was so great. Our guide, Janvier, made it even better with just being a caring and sharing person, he is probably what I miss the most. Being able to travel abroad was important to me because of what I want to do in life.
The fact that I am an international studies major who had never even left the country seemed a little odd and traveling to a different country seemed like the only thing that could prepare me for my career goals. I am also one of the only people in my family who has had the opportunity to experience something like this and not being doing it would have been too huge of a missed opportunity. This study abroad to Rwanda has made me realize how much I want to work on the continent of Africa and has pushed my passionate to provide clean water and clean food across the world. Although the study abroad did not focus on these two aspects, being the country, you can see that access to these rights can be difficult to cope with.
This study abroad also made me realize how much I have been missing out of the world and that there are many things that I can achieve if I put in effort. Being a global citizen to me is being able to understand where you stand in the world and what you can to improve it, I hope that I can become a global citizen someday and that I believe that I am on the path to it.