I entered SUSE's International Comparative Education motivated to discover what my pertinent role would be in championing global citizenship and broadening the perspectives of youth in the United States. SUSE's International Comparative Education program was a springboard for me professionally. After working for seven years in the nonprofit and international higher education sectors, I was keen to spend a year studying the theoretical bases of international education. The ICE program provided a cohesive and supportive academic learning environment to marry theory and practice. Myriad program characteristics made the program a perfect fit for my desired educational pursuits: excellent academic offerings, a small class size, strong academic advising, top-tier teaching, an intimate cohort, and interdisciplinary study opportunities. Classes in survey design, statistical analysis, nonprofit management, and theoretical frameworks were specifically valuable for my career growth. The ICE experience culminated in the most academically rigorous and enjoyable milestone: the master's monograph. Alongside my advisor, I explored the dimensions of global citizenship through a mixed methods study. For me, this was the most challenging yet rewarding aspect of the ICE program.
In minute doses over many years, the learning and perspectives I gained from both personal and professional international experiences inexplicably affected me. From picking coffee beans on a plantation in Guatemala to attending business meetings in the highest of skyscrapers of Beijing to exploring concepts of modernization and statistical methodologies in the classrooms of Stanford University, I have become attentive as to how acutely integral international experiences are to a person’s understanding not only of their local community but of the larger world in which we live. I left the program armed with greater confidence and a robust skills set to launch an entreprenurial endeavor, Allowance for Good. The organization melds my interests in educating youth to be active global citizens by contributing a portion of their allowance or job earnings to international education projects. I now aspire to provide a forum for youth ages 13-18 to create their own windows of learning beyond the familiar. We are part of an ever-shrinking world where communities are more interdependent than ever and where the imperative to educate not just citizens of nations but instead citizens of the world is palpable. I am delighted that my ICE experience played such a vital role in leading me to where I am today.
So I ask you, where will SUSE's ICE program take you?