Places and Experiences
In the past couple of years our majors have increased their interest in International Studies and have taken advantage of different opportunities and traveled to different parts of the world. Whether our students have studied, worked, interned, or just visited a different country, they have found these experiences to be remarkable. Our students also understand the need to become competent and marketable in the future. This understanding has motivated our students to take advantages of international opportuntities that have contributed to their personal and intellectual growth.
"This past summer I had the privilege of visiting Honduras and assisting the faculty at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazán. I credit this experience as giving me the exposure I desired in order to better understand and grasp the issues which developing countries struggle with. As I commonly preach to my own circle of friends, traveling expands your horizons in so many ways. It takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to succeed in sometimes less than perfect situations. It helps you understand the “other side” of many issues. It takes you down different roads, to meet tons of strangers and exposes you to an alternative to the ideal. It teaches you the challenges that we often overlook from this side of the fence and helps you appreciate the sacrifices others make to reach our country. My time in Honduras gave me these invaluable experiences which have contributed to my personal development as a global citizen. This opportunity gave me the insight I needed to continue down the path towards the Foreign Service."
-Maria Fabiana Cortez, MAIS student
"Living in Honduras made an everlasting impact on my life and on who I am as a human being, in so many ways; but the most significant way it affected me was by showing me all of the simple things in life that we take for granted in American society. Being fully immersed in a developing country opened my eyes to the reality of the daily strife that many people face in developing countries across the world. Living in a place where the basic needs of the people are not met has proven to me the dire necessity of international awareness, assistance programs and multilateral cooperation worldwide. This experience has put my International Studies degree into perspective for me. What I learned in Honduras is that International Relations isn’t about giving people monetary handouts to lift them out of poverty, or invading their country to overthrow a corrupt leader because those are merely temporary solutions to problems that will not disappear so easily. I believe that the greatest, most effective means of change can be made from within the people themselves by educating and empowering them."
-Rachael Gillespie, MAIS student
"Africa has been a place I have wanted to visit for several years. I had looked into volunteering abroad, but the cost as was out of my range. After I decided to change my major to International Studies of Middle East and Africa, I realized studying abroad was the perfect opportunity. Studying abroad not only gave me the chance to learn Kiswahili, but it gave me the opportunity to experience the Kiswahili culture. I met many beautiful people that although they have different ethnicities and religions, they embrace and love one another; people that despite being devastatingly poor still walk with as much confidence and happiness as the rich. Dar es Salaam is translated from the Arabic language to mean, “A Haven of Peace”. From my trip, to be able to see and explore this wonderful city, that translation could not be more accurate. For that is what I witnessed: Peace, Unity, and Love."
-Crystal Baker, BAIS student
Spain, England and Costa Rica
"Studying abroad goes beyond the borders of the classroom to provide real life experiences around the world. It has taken me from the rainforest of Costa Rica, to Las casas de Gaudi en Barcelona, into the seats of Parliament in London and to the top of the Tour de Eiffel in Paris. My 3 study abroad programs have given me first hand experience of living and interacting in the different cultures of the world. I can truly say that this has been the highlight of my college career. I will be forever changed by the many lessons learned in my travels and people who I have met along the way.”
-Lauren Roig, MAIS student
"Studying and living in the Netherlands taught me more than what I could have learned by reading about culture and politics in books. This experience made me develop a more objective view of the world, but, most importantly, it made me realize that International Studies is the major I feel most passionate about.”
-Beatriz Gomez, MAIS student
Iceland, France, The Netherlands, & New Zealand
"International Studies to me means exploring a liberal array of studies. Studies of many cultures and social systems that can be effected daily due to the world constantly changing. It means getting a broad and genuine knowledge of the entire world, its people, and how everything is connected. International Studies helps me understand the world and helps me find my role in it."
-Leona Osinga/BAIS student