Abigail DeHart on her experience in India:
“The first time I stepped foot out of the country, I was embarking on my year abroad in India. The thrill of buying a one way ticket to a place I had only read about in books was mirrored by my fear of leaving everything—family, friends, good bagels, my vehicle—behind and figuring out life again. Thanks to the Padnos Scholarship, I was able to stay in India long enough to achieve a sense that I had figured out life in a new place, which also means that my heart is now inexplicably connected to friends around the globe. I have had the good fortune to study abroad again, but this time in England and am currently working on a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge.
In the fall I will be starting law school at the University of Michigan, with an eye toward public interest law. Oddly, if it were not for these years in other countries, I do not think I would have considered staying in Michigan for graduate school and beyond. Because of my time away, I have had occasion to reflect critically on the concepts of community and social impact. What I have realized, as obvious as it may sound, is that relationships and social trust take time to build. A year in Varanasi, India allowed me to look beyond what I originally saw as chaos to the underlying logic, beauty, and strength of a community—coincidently, I think it did the same for my perception of Michigan.”