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Confidence through community — Corbett Scholar Grace Martindale

Photo of Grace Martindale

April 8, 2024

As a Corbett Scholar, my journey in the United States has come with excitement, challenges, and personal growth. One of the most fun aspects of my experience has been immersing myself in the culture of American college sports, particularly football games.

Coming from Canada, where the sports landscape is different, I found the passion and energy surrounding college football to be infectious. Attending football games became a highlight of my time in the U.S. The excitement and pride from being in the crowd during these games have created a sense of community that has transferred throughout my everyday life here.

One unforgettable moment was the game against Oregon, which had much intensity. When UW won, I had the unique opportunity to go down to the field and celebrate the victory with other students, which made me feel even more connected to the community and realize the power of shared experiences and passion through college sports in the U.S.

Navigating the cultural nuances has come with its own set of challenges. The distinct terminology used in the U.S. sometimes left me feeling like an outsider. However, I quickly learned to embrace these moments, finding humor in the occasional mispronunciations and misunderstandings.

One of the significant transformations during my time as a Corbett Scholar has been the evolution of my confidence in social settings. Stepping out of my comfort zone to engage with new people, whether at football games or in academic settings, has become second nature. The sense of community fostered by shared passions, like football, played a pivotal role in this transformation. Being part of the larger community of university life has allowed me to create connections that transcend borders and cultures.

Academically, taking an American history course proved to be a crucial component of my journey. Learning about U.S. history gave me a deeper understanding of its roots, shaping my perspective on its culture and societal dynamics. Taking that course increased my academic experience and enhanced my ability to navigate and appreciate American life.

In reflection, my time as a Corbett Scholar has been a mix of exciting experiences, challenging moments and profound personal growth. From the fun of the football games to the challenges of cultural adaptation, each experience has contributed to a fantastic journey in Seattle that continues to shape my understanding of the U.S. and Canada and how they are connected.

The Corbett British Columbia-Washington International Exchange Program Fund provides an opportunity for undergraduate students at the University of Washington to spend two semesters at the University of British Columbia or University of Victoria; and for students from the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria to spend three quarters at the University of Washington.