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Hi! My name is Katarina and I’m from Charlotte, NC. My main intention for this gap year (excluding tangible goals like learning Russian and traveling to a new continent) is to embrace all of the unusual opportunities that I can, even if they are new, challenging, uncomfortable, and totally scare me. This fall, I booked a flight to Vienna and spent three months backpacking Europe with a Eurail train pass, rounding out my trip having visited 15 different countries. In January I will leave for Tanzania to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on a safari, and travel around Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar with a group of UNC students. After almost a month in Tanzania, I will fly home, trade my backpack for a suitcase and my hiking boots for dress shoes and make the journey to Chișinău, Moldova. I will spend 3 months in Chișinău interning with the National Bank of Moldova in their financial technology sector, working on the promotion and implementation of their instant payment and open banking systems. During my time there I also hope to take Russian language lessons and volunteer at support centers for Ukrainian refugees. My plans for the summer are less certain. Some options include traveling around either Latin America or South East Asia, coming home to work on my personal training certification and get a job, or potentially going to Bratislava, Slovakia to intern with Progressive Slovakia, which is the liberal party in Slovak parliament. I look forward to all the adventures to come!