During the summer of 2014, Ferris Honors Student Melanie Lobsinger was awarded the nationally competitive William Jefferson Clinton Scholarship to the American University in Dubai. The scholarship:
seeks to further the goals of the Clinton Presidential Foundation to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. In partnership with the American University in Dubai, the program will provide American students based in the US the opportunity to expand their educational and cultural horizons by studying in the Arab world.
More information on the scholarship is available here. The Honors program is excited to congratulate Melanie on her award and her experience and to be able to support her adventure with an Honors Funded Travel Scholarship.
Melanie studies architecture, and Dubai has become a center for creativity and innovation. Still, Melanie shared with us that she, “learned more about [herself] than anything else while [she] was there.”
She said it was fascinating to come to understand that she had to travel 7000 miles in order gain perspective on her own life.
I learned to live and live fully. I learned to care. I could have sat around on the college campus, and done a whole lot of nothing. I could have segregated myself from the rest of the Clinton Scholars —which would have been a huge mistake, because they were awesome— and been a loner the entire time, but I’m glad I didn’t. I’m so very happy that I cared enough to spend every weekend discovering new corners of the city. I went dune bashing. I rode a sketchy crude oil fueled boat over the creek in old Dubai for a quarter. I swam in the Indian Ocean and floated without trying. I saw Ferraris and Bugattis in the streets on the daily. I saw the most breathtaking temple in Abu Dhabi called the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. I’m sure I offended some people with my dress. I learned to appreciate smoke-free environments of America. I ascended over 1200 feet in the tallest building in the world. I spent 80 degree nights walking through the most superbly clean and new and shining city I’ve ever been to. I rode a camel. I met amazing people. I met dreadful people at The Souks who tried to sell me rip off handbags, I kid you not, forty times in a ten minute period. I got scolded for singing in public. I got lost on the metro too many times to count. I took the leap of faith —for real, it’s a ride at the Atlantis Water Park. I sweated, a lot. But it was all worth it.
From our perspective we can not think of a better testament to the value of studying away and seeking out scholarships, support, and programs that help you achieve your goals.
Here are some photos Melanie shared from her trip:
Here’s a video of Melanie’s desert safari: