Hello, my name is Jillian Tidlow. I’m very excited to be an intern this coming year as my experiences abroad have been instrumental in shaping my plans for the future. I spent the summer of 2016 in Shanghai on the U.Va in Shanghai: Chinese program to improve my Chinese and to experience a very different culture from my native American culture. The following summer I went to Ghent with the U.Va in Belgium: Acoustic Phonetics. Although these programs are very different in many ways they both helped me grow as a person and helped shape the kind of choices I will make in the future. These programs were so formative because they helped me fully realize my independence. The confidence that going abroad has given me have helped me so much in planning what I would like to do in life. Where before, I would have shied away from carriers that required a lot of independence and uncertainty.