Roudhah Hamad Al Mazrouei

In the spring of 2023, my semester at NYU Florence unfolded as a chapter far beyond academics. As an Emirati woman stepping into independence, Florence served not just as a residence but as a crucible for personal growth and cultural exploration. This period was defined by the challenge of self-reliance amidst the Renaissance City's art-laden streets.

Traveling across Europe, I immersed myself in the rich tapestry of its cultures and histories. Visiting Malta, Paris (twice, owing to its allure), Budapest, Vienna, the Vatican, and Greece, each location offered unique lessons in diversity, history, and art. This exploration was deepened by learning Italian, which later opened doors to an internship at the Venice Biennale in the summer of 2024, blending my academic pursuits with outstanding opportunities.

As I stand on the brink of graduation from NYU Abu Dhabi, that chapter of my life in Florence stands out as an era of profound transformation and growth. That experience illuminated the strength found in vulnerability, teaching me to embrace the unknown with open arms and a resilient spirit.

That journey was not just about traversing geographical boundaries; it was an inward voyage that challenged my perceptions, expanded my horizons, and fostered a deep-seated sense of empowerment.