Andrea Sosa – Sophomore
I used to think of myself as an international scholar because I enjoyed reading the international section of the newspaper. I am, after all, an international student from Mexico, studying international relations. Doesn’t that status automatically make me an international scholar? Through ISP, the International Scholars Program at Goucher, I came to realize that the answer was “no” and that my notion was both shallow and insubstantial. After taking ISP, I realized that I am still a far ways from becoming an international scholar, but I have however received the tools and the vision to pursue further studies that may eventually grant me that title.
Being an international scholar does not mean that you know everything that there is to know about the world, or that you can name all of the capitals to all of the countries, or even that you know all of their cultures and speak all of their languages. It means looking at the world in non-traditional ways and asking different questions. Yes, you must be knowledgeable of the world, but it takes so much more than that. It takes discovering different relationships both in history and in the present, understanding why certain social, historical, and political structures are in place, creating a lens for yourself through which you can understand and critique the status quo, and ultimately, it takes wanting to explore.
I have taken these tools and applied them both in my studies as an International Relations major and in my decision-making of where in the world I want to study abroad. In my International Relations classes, these tools have allowed me to dig deeper and ask more questions. I now view the world through my own paradigm that has allowed me to explore new patterns, relationships, and structures. I look forward to further exploring through study abroad and finding the answers as I travel and learn.
Receiving an international education has allowed me to develop a sense of curiosity. I have become more curious of my academics, of the world around me, and of the history underlying everything we do. This is one of the most crucial advantages of an international education as it allows and motivates you to search for the answers to your questions. It motivates you to travel with a purpose and ultimately to question what exists around you. Curiosity, I think, is one of the most essential qualities in taking steps towards becoming an international scholar. While I do not think that I am at the point of calling myself an international scholar, I do think that I have been provided with the necessary tools to one day achieve that, and I think that is the purpose of ISP. Being in this program is eye opening and has in many ways shaped my undergraduate career thus far. I am ready to travel the world and come to my own conclusions because I now know what to look for and what questions to ask. While I may not be an international scholar yet, I am definitely on my way.
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