Why did you opt to serve as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization?
As a Korean-American student, I realize the importance of creating a space where diversity prospers. As a Senior Fellow for Internationalization, I wanted to be able to support international students and help them adjust comfortably here at Notre Dame. Through my international friends at Notre Dame and my time abroad, I realized how daunting it could be to move to a new country where friends and family are miles away. I find it encouraging to be able to welcome students from around the world while connecting current ND students to different cultures and traditions. Hopefully, during my time as a Senior Fellow, more students in the ND community are able to step out of their comfort zone and have global experiences through studying abroad and their interactions with international students.
Talk about your international experiences and why they are important. How have they served you (academically, personally, professionally, etc).
I was born in South Korea but moved to the US when I was very young. Growing up in my own community of immigrants allowed me to experience different cultures from around the world. In fact, I was able to connect back to my roots by studying abroad in Seoul, South Korea the Spring of my Junior year. During my time in Korea, I realized how unique each country can be and that there is no limit to what you can learn about other cultures and traditions. Personally, my experience with life abroad has broadened my understanding of people from around the world and allowed me to approach every individual with an open mind. I hope to apply my newfound knowledge to the classroom by bringing in different global perspectives. I have only become more educated from my encounters with people from around the world. In addition, with my positive experience studying abroad, I haven’t ruled out the possibility of moving abroad in the future.
Why do you think it's important to focus on internationalization at the University of Notre Dame?
Honestly, the ND community is significantly different in regards to diversity compared to where I grew up in Southern California. I believe that when there is a distinct line between American and international students and faculty, it is hard to truly become one diverse and accepting community. By focusing on internationalization at the University of Notre Dame, students and faculty can work together to create a mindset where people are more accepting and open to the different cultures from around the world in this time of globalization. With more and more easy access to nations from around the world through advancements in technology, it is inevitable that we, as a society, grow more diverse and accepting. It is not a bad thing for ND to prepare for a future where interactions between citizens from all over the world become a norm. Becoming a more diverse community only brings positive results as we can learn from each other and tighten our bond as a community.