Reflecting on the undergrad experience at PC
My journey through Global Studies allowed me to explore both the world and my place in it as an individual. Early on there was a focus on systems thinking and the interconnectedness of our actions and histories. Classes were a constant juggling match between learning about the oppression suffered throughout the world by both humans and the environment, and a constant insistence upon action to find solutions. They taught me to refuse to accept a status quo that systematically discriminates and to unravel the global forces that keep it in place. Both the model and the content of the classes emphasized community, giving us an example for how to discuss and work together with other people, even (and especially) when it was difficult. Because of Global Studies, I was able to have three study abroad experiences, spending a month in Ghana, a semester in Lima, Peru, and a semester in Quito, Ecuador. In different linguistic and cultural contexts, I was able to recognize the learning that takes place through relationships and the importance of humility when working with others. At PC, I was always grateful for the friendships and conversations I enjoyed with other Global Studies majors outside of the classroom. We often shared and sometimes challenged what we were learning in other classes with each other, making Global Studies into a lived, active learning experience. Global Studies has supported me and imbued me with a love of languages, passion for social justice, lifelong activism, and the critical thinking and dialoguing skills necessary to move forward.
While I graduated only recently, Global Studies has been there for me in deciding to serve as a Community Organizing and Economic Development volunteer with the Peace Corps in El Salvador. Our community supported me when I applied, with letters of recommendation; when I waited for my nomination and invitation; and when I made the final decision to accept. In the last stage, professors provided me with encouragement through phone calls, a discussion over dinner, and connections to a past alumna who had also participated in the Peace Corps. The alumna gladly accepted my call based on our common roots in Global Studies. The Peace Corps places a strong emphasis on the ability to adapt to different contexts, think creatively to work with others to find solutions to complex issues, and always consider oneself a learner. With my background in Global Studies and Spanish, I feel confident beginning my post-graduate life as a Peace Corps volunteer and ready to learn and engage a new context.