Why I am Majoring in International Affairs
I like challenge. If my views or the actions I take are not constantly being questioned, objected, or criticized by myself or others, I get bored. This mindset may come off as extremely unhealthy; however, if you do not take it to an extreme, this mentality can foster a continuous desire to learn something new or see something from a completely different perspective. Later this year, I will begin college and will be majoring in International Affairs.
The first time I traveled to India really sparked my interest to learn about other cultures along with social and economic issues in other countries. After experiencing severe culture shock, I read about other nations and cultures completely different to the one I grew up with. After ninth grade, I went to Costa Rica through a leadership program with other students and teachers from school. After just two weeks abroad, I became extremely interested in Costa Rica as I started to read much about its nature scene, economic issues, and art after the trip. I spent my leisure time in middle school - and still spend spare time now - watching National Geographic documentaries that report underrepresented groups of people all over the world. Whether the documentaries were about human trafficking issues or child marriage problems, I was always particularly drawn towards learning about those who experienced extreme circumstances and were often overlooked. Learning about these demographics drove me to volunteer within my own community and strengthened my urge to get involved in some type of international work where I would be able to gain insight into different perspectives.
In fact, one of the major requirements of an International Affairs major is to become fluent in one other language, if not more. When you learn a different language and are simultaneously introduced to the culture and history of those who speak the language, you are learning to see the small, nitty gritty details of the native speaker’s perception. From picking up on cultural humor to identifying what gets lost in translation, you are learning about a perspective that either sees something completely different compared to what you have grown up with or perceives something you are familiar with in an unexpected way.
This major usually requires spending at least a semester abroad so immersing yourself with individuals who speak the language you want to learn will allow you to pick up on the customs that others follow and the value it holds on everyday life. By experiencing and reading about different lifestyles, my mind will constantly be stimulated with new ideas for side projects. I like to have a lot going on at once. I want to always be pursuing some type of initiative that will help my community or the world at large. By majoring in international affairs, I know that I will be studying something that is always changing. Thus, it will help sharpen my creativity and I know I will not grow weary.
Altogether, I want to study International Affairs because it incorporates several elements of the world around us such as economic and social issues on the macro level as well as humor from those who speak another dialect or a tradition in a small village on the micro level. As of now, I ultimately hope to become a foreign service officer and work with a wide variety of people and report their experiences and day to day practices.