Transitions can be difficult, especially if you are first among your family and friends to venture into a new environment. Farther Foundation students have the advantage of having participated in life-changing experiences that make lasting impacts on their preparedness and confidence to face the challenges ahead.
In 2018, during the summer between her sophomore and juniors years of high school, Aude used her Farther Foundation scholarship to travel to Thailand on a program of cultural immersion and discovery.
FF: Did your summer experience in Thailand effect how you interact with others?
Aude: “I went to Thailand with a mission to enjoy my experience to the fullest; this included getting out of my comfort zone. I pushed myself to continuously interact with people to the point where it became a habit that continues to this day.”
FF: Did your summer experience in Thailand effect how you are approaching your senior year of high school and college planning?
Aude: ”My dream has always been to go into the medical field, but I never thought of a specific branch. My experience in Thailand changed this perspective. When applying to colleges this fall, I will be more inclined toward a school with a good “Cultural Studies” program along with a good medical one. From the limited planning I have done so far, doing the pre-med and cultural studies major could help me build a career in which I would be able to travel in under-served communities abroad while still practicing -- like a medical ministry or the Peace Corps.”
FF: What was the most important thing you feel came out of your experience in Thailand?
Aude: “One of the most important things was learning that I love adventure despite how it might hurt to be out of my comfort zone. Before going there, I was only exposed to activities such as going to the movies, restaurants, game arcades, and pools. There, I hiked, “ziplined”, did silent meditation, sang at a concert, and learned how to dive into the streets of Chiang Mai. I felt so empowered, like I could do anything in the world. Feelings like this are so important, especially for a teenage girl living in a world where, most of the time, our voices are disregarded which mentally molds us into limiting our capacities. When my self-esteem sags, I think about the empowerment I felt during those days.”