“Overall, my experience with the Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS) has been positive and diverse. I was able to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain for a summer, and it was such an amazing experience. I was able to travel, experience different cultural events and festivals, meet new people, and practice my language skills, among so many other things. I was able to see the world through a new perspective, and understand the different lifestyles and cultures that made my experience so unique. I fell in love with Barcelona, and the people and energy of the city - it was so vibrant, beautiful, and full of life. 

Furthermore, PICS has allowed me to take various interdisciplinary courses that have widened my perspective on many different academic fields. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from different areas and concentrations in order to inform my course of action after graduation. I have been able to create close connections with some of my professors within my PICS courses, and create rapport with my peers. PICS has allowed me to explore my interests in social entrepreneurship, political and economic development, and social impact. I will hopefully enter into these fields after graduation and take my academic experience from PICS into my real world jobs. I am thankful for PICS and forever Go Blue!”

Cristina Guytingco

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); minor, Business ‘21

Hometown: Mt. Pleasant, MI

Affiliations: Filipino American Student Association, United Asian American Organizations, Vietnamese Student Association DVN (Dem Viet Nam), Give Merit FATE Program, Michigan in Color Columnist, Comparative Literature Department Research Assistant, Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (ODEI) Student Advisory Planning Group, ODEI Student Advisory Planning Group DEI Summit, Magnify Program, +Lab Fellow, Facilitator, English Language Circle English Language Institute

Future plans: “I see myself working in Washington, D.C., and working in a policy/advocacy organization.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “My fondest memory in PICS is studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. I learned a lot while being in Spain, learned so much about the culture, had great experiences traveling abroad with friends, and used my Spanish skills to deepen my language skills. It was an overall amazing experience, and I was glad I was able to study abroad at least once before COVID-19.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?: “Thank you to my parents, first and foremost, for giving and sacrificing everything for me. I wouldn't be who I am without them, and I wouldn't have made it to this point without them. I would like to thank my peers, for being great fellow learners and thinkers from which I have learned a lot from, and for pushing for change and justice for a more just world. I would like to thank all my professors, who have enlightened my experience in college, and given me so much more than just knowledge and education. Thank you all so much!!”