Andreea Chisca was born in Romania to parents who believed that education is the way to a better life.

“My parents were always saying, ‘You need to study; you need to learn languages,” says Chisca, who speaks Romanian, English, French, and German, and whose efforts to study hard earned her acceptance to an international high school in Canada, where one day a classmate mentioned MIT.

MIT? she thought. What the heck is that?

Now the 22-year-old senior is double majoring in economics and computer science, and one day she plans to become an economist for an international organization that works with developing countries.

“I want to contribute to the world,” Chisca says. “I want to be a top economist and help developing countries like my own. I hope to gain the tools and skills not only to change my life but to change the lives of others who are not so privileged as I am.

“My family doesn’t have the resources, and I don’t think will ever have the resources, to send me to MIT. So if it weren’t for the scholarship, I probably would not have left Romania.”

Last summer, Chisca worked on Wall Street as an intern at JP Morgan. And the summer before, she participated in MIT’s MISTI-Germany program, where she traveled to Berlin for 10 weeks to work as a software engineer. She also participates in two undergraduate research projects –– in management and development economics. “What’s great about MIT,” she says, “is you have the chance to do hands-on research while still a student.

“This is a world-class institution that is giving me the chance to better my life. One day I’d like to advise governments and influence sound financial policies. When I put MIT on my resume, I know people will listen.”