“When I began my first year, I did not know anyone at the University of Michigan, and especially not other students interested in International Studies. It was by chance that I found the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates, or GIEU program, and applied. I was selected to go to Vietnam, a country which at the time I knew very little about.
In the run-up to my month-long trip over the Summer of 2018, there were meetings with my cohort to learn everything from intercultural communication to making Vietnamese Summer Rolls. During these meetings, I met other first year students like myself and we got to learn about our shared interests. That summer, when we were in Vietnam together, I got to know them even better and spent my free evenings and weekends traveling around Ho Chi Minh City with them. For me, this was a defining experience with the Program in International and Comparative Studies and the moment I knew I wanted to be an International Studies major.
I learned so much from my summer in Vietnam and gained so much from these friendships. The people that I met on this trip would go on to be my closest friends throughout my time at Michigan. It was in Vietnam as well that I became interested in foreign policy studies when talking with Vietnamese university students about their lives and learning the history of Vietnam and the city I was visiting particularly. To this moment, my time with GIEU has been one of my biggest highlights of my time at the University of Michigan and something I will always carry with me as I move out of undergrad.”
BA International Studies (International Security, Norms and Cooperation); BA History ‘21
Hometown: New York, NY
Affiliations: Michigan Journal of International Affairs, Editor in Chief
Future plans: “Starting a career in foreign policy.”
Fondest memory of his experience in PICS: “My fondest experience was spending a summer through Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates (GIEU) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This was a life-changing experience!”