The Bright!Tax Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Olivia Cunningham is the latest recipient of the prestigious Global Scholar Award for Americans studying abroad.
Olivia originally hails from Boston, however since undertaking a study abroad opportunity in her senior year of high school, she has been embracing life abroad.
She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the American University in Madrid, before moving to the UK last year to undertake a Masters in Neuroscience.
On living as an expat, Olivia says: “Like most Americans, I was raised to be a hard and diligent worker, and to strive to reach my goals independently. As a US citizen, I have challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and to travel to broaden my global knowledge. One of the greatest aspects of being an expat in London is having the rest of the world on my doorstep. Traveling is empowering in itself, but as an expat, I have gained independence, built my confidence, made endless connections with people from all across the globe, and have expanded my world view.”
She continues: “I hope to change stereotypes about what being an American means while I am abroad, by continually exhibiting pride and honor in my nationality whilst respecting and acknowledging other cultures, ideologies and individuals.”
Olivia studies neuroscience, with the aim of helping people whose brains have suffered trauma. In the future, Olivia hopes to continue her research by doing a PHD, with a view to specializing in neural stem cells and nervous system repair for therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative diseases.
“By placing ourselves in a new and alien cultural context, living abroad as an American forces us to re-evaluate both our personal and our national identities.” – Greg Dewald, Bright!Tax CEO
Besides studying, Olivia also works helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a therapist. In 2019 she also worked in a therapeutic rehabilitation center in Bali, Indonesia.
Olivia is the tenth recipient of the Bright!tTax Global Scholar Award, which was founded in 2016 to provide financial support to exceptional, ambitious young Americans who wish to study abroad.
Bright!Tax is a leading, award-winning provider of US tax services for Americans living overseas. Over nine million Americans live abroad, and they are all required to file US taxes every year.
Bright!Tax CEO Greg Dewald founded the Global Scholar Award in 2016 inspired by an opportunity he had to study abroad many years ago, which opened his eyes to the enlightening experience of immersing oneself in other cultures.
Dewald said: “By placing ourselves in a new and alien cultural context, living abroad as an American forces us to re-evaluate both our personal and our national identities. This in turn broadens our outlook, so that we grow immeasurably as people. Olivia has not only embraced the experience of living abroad, but she is striving to create positive impressions of being American to those around her, as well as working to make a positive impact in the medical sector. She is clearly an exceptional young American, and we wish her every success with her future endeavors”.