Coming from a small rural town, I was never really exposed to other peoples and cultures. Arriving at St. Lawrence in the fall of 2010, I had a strong desire to travel and get out of my comfort zone. From day one, the Global Studies program seemed like the perfect program for me. The different interdisciplinary tracks allow you to design your own path, which eventually led to my area study/language study concentration focusing on the African continent where I am looking at nongovernmental organizations that have an education component and child sponsorship programs as well as exploring the idea of ‘voluntourism.’ Not only has being a Global Studies student allowed me to study abroad in Kenya, spend a month in Uganda (and eventually return to Uganda to work on my SYE) and pursue Swahili as a foreign language, but it has also allowed me to see the world in a completely new way.
The Global Studies department is such a tight-knit community of students and professors, which creates such a lively atmosphere of discussion and debate inside and outside of the classroom. I love that our conversations from class will carry over into walks across campus and even brought up during dinner. Examining the role of race, gender, and class as well as the political economy side of things allows us to look with a more critical eye, instead of just grazing the surface. These skills have influenced my involvement with activist groups here at SLU. As a member of The Weave, an alternative media organization reporting on underreported stories from all over the world, I am able to build on my knowledge learned through readings and classroom discussions and apply them to real-life experiences in the Canton community and beyond with hopes of contributing to positive social change.