Read about this month’s International Studies Alumni Spotlight. Alumni were asked to share how their International Studies major or minor has influenced their path after graduating from the University of Michigan.
BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA Political Science; BA Spanish ‘16
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
University of Michigan Affiliations: Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC,) Greek Life, Co-Founder of the Panhellenic Peer Educators, Campus Day, Honors Program, Residential College
“I boarded a plane to Mozambique to become a Peace Corps Health Volunteer just 36 hours after graduation. As a Peace Corps Volunteer here in Mozambique, I speak Portuguese every day and work with Mozambican counterparts to execute health campaigns throughout my site. We're especially focused on HIV prevention and treatment, proper nutrition, and girls' empowerment.
My studies as an International Studies major prepared me well for many aspects of my job. The Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) at the University of Michigan takes a broad and interdisciplinary approach, rather than singularly focusing on niche technical skills. In our line of work, this is a huge advantage! When you work on a global scale, you must be ready for constant change: shifting political regimes, rapidly advancing technology, cultural blending, linguistic movement, and economic domino effects. International Studies equips you with skills to analyze, strategize, and communicate in a wide range of international situations as these changes occur.
As an International Studies major, I became bilingual (which greatly helped me learn a Portuguese during my three month Peace Corps training), learned how to analyze complex problems from someone else's perspective, and gained a lot of practice working in social and professional environments beyond my comfort zone. I rely on these experiences daily as a Peace Corps Volunteer.”