My name is Justine and I am a junior this year at Seattle University. I’m majoring in strategic communication and minoring in Italian. I’m so excited to be headed to Florence, Italy this fall to study abroad! I’ve had this goal since I started high school, really since I shared a dream with Lizzie McGuire, so it is hard to pin point the exact reason Italy was the place for me. Falling in love with the language was stage one though. Although I am so fortunate enough to be taking part in such an experience, it was not an easy decision financially. It is only through the Gilman scholarship program and the other scholarships I applied for that this was a possibility. I am so very lucky, and I recognize what a privilege it is to be a part of the program, as a result, I will not be taking this for granted and plan to make use of this time to grow and learn. My family and friends have been very supportive and have encouraged me along the way, especially on the days where it would have been so much easier to back out, and have a fine experience staying in Seattle. Although driven, I too need a push once in awhile to validate my goals and see that what I am doing and hope to accomplish is worth it.