Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family! Thanksgiving is always a special day in my home, but this year, the atmosphere was absolutely electrified by the news of me winning the amazing Travel Video Contest! I still can’t believe it happened. The news keeps traveling fast and reaching family members and friends in far away places in the world who can’t believe it either!
If this is your first time visiting this blog, please let me introduce myself. My name is Mariana Osorio and I’m a music and art student at The City College of New York. On November 14th, my video was selected as the 2016 winner of the International Student Travel Video Contest among 159 submissions from all around the globe. It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m beyond excited about being able to share a bit more about me with all of you by writing this blog.
First things first, I want to thank everyone at International Student for their hard work and for making such an amazing organization possible. Thank you for being a light in the darkness, for sharing useful information for students like me who had no idea where to look for reliable information about studying abroad, and for rewarding creativity through your amazing Travel Video Contest.
Truth be said, when I first saw the contest guidelines I thought: “There is no way I can win it…are you crazy? “Videos from ALL over the world and you want to win it?” But I did!
I did it by challenging myself. By the time I heard about the contest, the deadline to submit my video was in less than two weeks. To make it worse, those two weeks were incredibly busy at work, and also at school with midterms and projects. But I promised to myself that I could do it, that I would do it even if it meant extra late nights and very early mornings. By the time I was done – the day before the deadline – I was so happy about having kept my word for myself, and about what I had created, that I felt at ease and satisfied regardless of the outcome of the contest. I spent the next couple weeks enjoying this feeling of accomplishment and tranquility, but as the date when the winner would be revealed approached, I have to admit that I grew more and more nervous….then, one afternoon, I received a called from International Student that I never imagined possible… I won!!
I was in the middle of the street with a little 3 year-old girl and I started crying and jumping right there. I called my family in Mexico to give them the good news and they laughed an cried as well. The little girl that was with me was looking at me like “what’s wrong with you?” (and also all the people that passed by) but I couldn’t contain myself. It has been without a doubt one of the best moments of my life.
What to do now? Where to go next? It was a very difficult decision and I kept thinking and thinking and changing my mind. But I have finally decided to go to Greece with my prize! I’m a double major in music and art and I’m specially interested in sculpture, so what better place to experience both than this magical country? I love traveling and I’m sure that this old country will give me many new adventures.
During the next few weeks, I would like to share with you some of the things that have been very useful to me while living and studying outside my home country. I want to share with you some of my adventures… from surviving a week in NYC with only five dollars to discovering the beautiful beaches of Santorini. But above all, I would like to tell you about my trips and what I have learned in each of them. But all these stories are… for the next time.