Antonio Valdez


Why did you opt to serve as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization?

My international experiences at Notre Dame have allowed me to strengthen my existing skills, learn from unfamiliar cultures, and gain new perspectives. I would like to help other Notre Dame students learn about the opportunities and advantages that Notre Dame International has to offer. Having the opportunity to travel abroad, I was not only able to gain valuable experiences but also to meet people from around the world.

Talk about your international experiences and why they are important. How have they served you (academically, personally, professionally, etc).

My international experiences have served me in a multitude of ways. Academically, I was challenged to study my usual disciplines in a different context. I was also exposed to historical sites and archives that gave me access to first-source documents and on-site experience. I had the opportunity to study as a part of the London Kennedy Scholars Spring 2023 cohort. As a part of this program, I studied at the London Welcome Collection, the London Library, and the Trinity College Library at the University of Cambridge. The cohort took a trip to Rome where I was able to experience the necropolis at the Vatican, share my research with scholars at the Notre Dame Rome program, and meet the United States ambassador to the Vatican. At the end of the program, I was able to present my research to professors and faculty at the University of Durham in northern England. This experience allowed me to not only enhance my research but also my ability to effectively convey and present it. Personally, I was able to grow and expand my perspective from these experiences. I had the incredible opportunity to travel to many countries in mainland Europe. The most important thing that my experience abroad gave me was the ability to immerse myself in an unfamiliar culture and meet people with totally different backgrounds than myself. This is important to me because, in the future, I will have the background of having collaborated with people from around the world. My experiences abroad enhanced my learning as well as my understanding of cultures and countries outside of my own.

Why do you think it's important to focus on internationalization at the University of Notre Dame?

Internationalization allows students to be more conscious and aware of other cultures. Not only that, but we have so much to learn from other countries and cultures. My experiences abroad fundamentally changed the way I look at the world outside of the United States. Before, I had a vague idea of what “outside the country” looked like, but now I know exactly what that means. The University of Notre Dame doesn’t stop spreading its good at the borders of the United States. Through the promotion of internationalization as well as the multiple global gateways and connections with other countries, Notre Dame is able to spread its good around the globe.