Senior to experience Macedonian culture as youth ambassador
April 3, 2017
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As the school year ebbs to a close, the possibilities of new beginnings in a foreign environment start to reach the horizon for senior Juliette Oliver.
Oliver won a foreign exchange scholarship to be a youth ambassador in Macedonia through the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Student Abroad Program. The program offers 13 different countries for selective students to travel to in order to be a key source of representation for a year, all expenses paid.
After a rigorous application process and an applicant pool of over three thousand students nationwide, Oliver was chosen to represent the country of Macedonia and is set to depart this June. To
Oliver, receiving this award is a sign that she was deemed worthy enough to be held accountable for an entire country, which is a reward in itself.
“It means so much to me because to be awarded with this means that someone has faith in you to represent the United States abroad, and I just could not be more grateful to have been chosen for this position,” Oliver said.
Oliver finds comfort in the fact that Macedonia is a definite possibility in the near future, despite college plans.
“My top college is UCLA that I’ve been accepted to and I actually have to contact admissions and see if they’ll defer me. If I’m not deferred, it kind of brings up an important question if I would like to take a year of my life to live abroad or choose college over that,” Oliver said. “But I’m pretty sure it would be an amazing experience, and I think it’s worth putting college off for a year.”
For Oliver, being abroad in a foreign country isn’t a new experience. She feels this excursion to Macedonia will lead to inevitable new opportunities and ultimately the ability to soul-search and find herself in the depths of a new environment.
“I’m really just gonna be accountable for myself and my fellow peers and I think that’ll help me grow and find myself as a person as well as hopefully learn some things about the world,” Oliver said. “I really think it’ll help instill a sense of independence in me with being on my own.”