I am what most would refer to as a history nerd. After taking US History in 10th grade, I knew it was for me. Since then, I have submerged myself with hundreds of pages of notes describing Stalin’s rise to power, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I enjoy understanding the past to explain the present. But what really intrigues me is how countries manage to create bonds and alliances even though they clash in ideologies and policies. That is essentially why I think I will be studying International Relations at Tufts.
My international background played a huge role in my decision. My friend pointed out the other day that I am a third culture kid. I was born in France, raised near New York City and am currently living in the adventurous and tropical Malaysia. I live amongst cultures. At night I fall asleep to the powerful drumming inside the neighboring Hindu temple and I wake up to the familiar chant of the Islamic muezzin praying at dawn. In the international school environment, I am part of a multicultural and open-minded community that is made up of dozens of students with different backgrounds. My experiences abroad have taught me the importance of becoming a global citizen. And in this growing interconnected world the need for communication between cultures is pretty much imperative.
The point is this: Tufts has one of the best international relations programs, and from what I can tell, one of the most diverse student populations. There was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity like this.
What first caught my eye when I applied was the fact that the international relations program was interdisciplinary. I am a firm believer in approaching ideas from multiple angles and this program will definitely allow me to do that. Also, who doesn’t like taking classes from different departments? Besides the flexibility of the program there is also a language requirement and a highly recommended study abroad program. I believe that a nation’s cultural and linguistic proficiency contributes to success in the global marketplace as much as policy, history and strategic objectives. So the fact that I will get the opportunity to travel and to keep my Spanish and French intact is super exciting. All in all, the resources and mindset of the department will help advance my standing as a global citizen.
Hopefully, after many years of hard work, I will be able to fulfill my childhood dream and work in conjunction with the United Nations. It is what I’ve always wanted to do. What amazes me in particular is the fact that there are Austrians in charge of renovating the agriculture in Rwanda and Ghanaians sorting through refugee acceptance letters in the UNHCR branch in Malaysia. I am inspired by the desire of people to move beyond their home boundaries to reshape and rebuild regions in distress.
I leave you with some images from two Tumblrs that I follow. If you got any of the references, then we should probably be friends.