Study abroad provides new perspective for undergraduate student Anusha Rizvi
December 13, 2013
For Anusha Rizvi, finding her place at Virginia Tech meant she had to leave Blacksburg.
Earlier this year, she participated in Virginia Tech’s Presidential Global Scholars sponsored by University Honors. She travelled to the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. A group of students she traveled with engaged in a project focused on sustainability in Switzerland, and while she was there, Rizvi also studied Italian and explored Italy, Greece, France, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.
“It may sound funny that I found my place while abroad but studying in Riva was one of the best things that happened to me," said Rizvi of Hamilton, Va., a senior majoring in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences with a minor in agriculture and applied economics. "I lived with 31 amazing Virginia Tech students who are now some of my dearest friends. It was truly a transforming period in my life. During my time abroad I really grew as an individual. I began to challenge my thought processes, which encouraged me to question my beliefs and also embrace curiosity.”
Since then, Rizvi’s curiosity has compelled her to take on new challenges. She participated in Virginia Tech’s Washington Semester in the nation’s capital and completed an internship with an organization that works in post-conflict and post-disaster environments and areas of insurgency. Last summer, Rizvi travelled to Aman, Jordan for an intensive Arabic language immersion program.
“I really enjoy learning,” Rizvi said.” I enjoy learning in all environments—whether its takes place inside or outside of the classroom. I think it’s important to take control of your education and I try my best to do so.” Her advice to others is, “Don’t be afraid. Fear keeps us from being great.”
Rizvi served as an ambassador for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and was a member of the Student Life Council, a group which discusses ways to enhance students’ experiences at Virginia Tech.
Her plans after graduation are fluid.
“As of now I am trying to go back to Jordan after graduation," she said. "Plans aren’t final and really anything is possible! I don’t want to limit myself. However, I know I want to work in the Middle East or do something related to the Middle East.”
Rizvi is proficient in the Urdu language and would like to pursue Arabic further. She will also follow her passion for human rights.
“I think there are inherent rights we as humans have—correction—all humans have. I don’t think these rights are privileges that only some people have. I find there is something fundamentally wrong with that way of thinking," Rizvi said.
For embracing a perspective that includes lifelong learning, Rizvi was recently honored with an Aspire! Award for commitment to unwavering curiosity. The awards recognize students who exemplify the Division of Student Affairs’ Aspirations for Student Learning.
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- Photos: Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland