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The results are in! After tallying more than 1,300 votes and combining those with the votes from our expert panel of judges, NAFSA and Abroad View are pleased to announce Nicole Barrasse as the 2009 Student Diplomat. Congratulations, Nicole!

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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. Staying with a host family and spending her days farming and learning the local language and culture, Nicole viewed her classroom as the land and the community in which she lived. 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 Barrasse is a recent graduate of Keystone College in La Plume, Pennsylvania. She is now home in Pennsylvania and is hoping to start a local effort to inspire youth in her community to think more globally.  In addition to being named the 2009 Student Diplomat, Nicole will also be awarded a cash prize of $300.

To read more about Nicole, visit www.nafsa.org/studentdiplomat. There you can also find out more about the 2009 contest or watch the videos from the other finalists.