NAFSA announced this week that it has named a winner in its Student Diplomat Video Contest. Here’s the release:

Winner Named in Student Diplomat Video Contest

Study Abroad Experience Inspires a Recent Graduate to Help Local Youth Think Globally

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 – NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Abroad View Foundation are pleased to announce Nicole Barrasse, a recent graduate of Keystone College in Pennsylvania, as the winner of the 2009 Student Diplomat Video Contest. During the fall semester, NAFSA and Abroad View watched as students from across the country showed us how their educational experiences abroad shaped them as global citizens, served as bridges to cross-cultural understanding, promoted peace, or positively impacted the local communities in which they studied. After reviewing dozens of entries and narrowing those down to five finalists, we asked the public to vote. More than 1,300 votes were cast and combined with the votes from an expert panel of judges to select the 2009 Student Diplomat.

Nicole’s video tells an inspiring story of cultural understanding and global connections as she gives us a glimpse into her study abroad experience in the small agricultural village of Ladakh, India. Nicole stayed with a host family in the village and spent her days farming and learning the local language and culture. The cultural understanding that Nicole developed through this experience not only allowed her to learn about the Ladakhi people, but also to communicate to them how much she appreciated their culture and way of life.

Nicole came away from this experience not only knowing much more about sustainable farming and the Ladakhi culture, but also understanding what it means to be a citizen of the world. “Ladakh has not only taught me life lessons, but also what it truly means to be connected to the world around you,” she says in her video.

Nicole is now home in Pennsylvania and plans to start a local effort to inspire youth in her community to think more globally.

The Student Diplomat Video Contest was open to undergraduate students who studied abroad during the fall semester or had recently returned from a study abroad experience. Entrants were asked to focus their short videos on how their study abroad experience helped to advance global understanding. In addition to being named the 2009 Student Diplomat, Nicole will be awarded a cash prize of $300.

To read more about the 2009 Student Diplomat, or to watch her video, visit http://www.nafsa.org/studentdiplomat.

Here is Nicole’s video:

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