“When I first came to the University of Michigan, I had no clue what I wanted to study. All I knew was that I wanted to build concrete skills that I could use to lift communities up. When I discovered the Program in International and Comparative Studies (PICS), I knew I had found the perfect fit. 

PICS allowed me to personalize my International Studies major and build a diverse schedule. The Political Economy and Development sub-plan pushed me to take more quantitative classes that I would have otherwise avoided like ECON 360: Developmental Economics. As I progressed in my credits, I noticed that my International Studies degree was the perfect complement to my Spanish degree. Second semester junior year, I was able to refine my Spanish-speaking skills when I studied in Madrid, Spain, and lived with a host mother. Although my time abroad was cut short, it was the most memorable 2 months of my life and I learned the utility of cross-cultural communication. 

PICS taught me how to navigate the causes and effects of contemporary community challenges using different approaches, methods of understanding, and units of analysis. I had the opportunity to utilize both my Spanish-speaking and community investment skills as a Court Services Intern with the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia. Following graduation, I will continue this work as an investigative intern with The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.”

Julia Pascale

BA International Studies (Political Economy and Development); BA Spanish ‘21

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-law Fraternity, FATE Mentorship Program 

Future plans: “I will be working with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and then will be applying to Law Schools.”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “Having the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain.”