This is me on my spring break in Thailand Let’s rewind a bit so you all can learn a little bit more about my experience abroad Well for starters Let me introduce myself. I’m Jade Williams I’m a graphic design major at Howard University and I also do fashion blogging, and I’m an artist and I’m a freelance model. I kind of do a lot When I told people I was going to the UAE I got mixed reactions Some people immediately told me be safe it might be dangerous over there Or be safe, you’re American. You know what’s going on Then there are people who told me I would have the time of my life, and I’d fall in love And they’re right I did I chose the Middle East during an interesting time in America black students only cover 5% of students studying abroad But I felt like I needed to break cultural norms. I Wanted to show people who look like me that they can study abroad and they can have the most fulfilling experience ever just like I did I I made a new home I Made lifetime friends I even got to travel to places where I never thought I would be able to travel I got connected with my African culture I got connected with Fashion and modeling and I never knew a million years. I’ll be able to do this in another country I found out a lot about myself I Found out things about myself that I never knew that I could accomplish things that I learned What an experience what a journey Now it’s your turn Thank You New York Times for giving me this opportunity to share my experience and show people especially people who look like me That this experience is possible