UO junior Sabrina Ahmed applied for and received the Gilman scholarship to study in Rwanda with the School for International Training during the Spring 2012 semester. Because of this experience, Sabrina is now planning to further her education in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. Sabrina writes of her experience:
"Studying abroad through the SIT program, Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peace-building, forever changed my life. It is very important to study the atrocities of the past, but it is vital to live among the people who survived those historical moments and learn from their stories and the personal connections you make with them.
Studying abroad in Rwanda and focusing on the genocide that occurred in 1994 was indescribable. Not only am I a smarter and more well informed person when it comes to the history of the genocide, but I have made personal connections to the people whom it directly effected and I therefore have a connection to this genocide that I never would have expected. This has enriched my life not only as a student but as a person. After having looked into the eyes and shook hands with known perpetrators of genocide, your spirit is forever touched and changed because you learn to find the humanity in all people, regardless of their past.
Before I went to Rwanda, I didn’t know how strong I could be and finding this strength in myself has encouraged me to follow my passion and pursue a degree in Peace studies and conflict resolution so I can one day have a say in matters that most people have proved not to care about. I want to look into the eyes of the Rwandan refugees I met in Nakivale Refugee camp in Uganda and honestly be able to tell them I am trying my best to improve their world. That is how study abroad has changed my life; it lit a fire inside me that I hope never burns out."
For further information about Gilman scholarships, please go to http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program