Jack Drey

Email: jdrey2@nd.edu

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

International opportunities have greatly enhanced my time at Notre Dame, and I would love to help other students take advantage of the amazing international programs Notre Dame has to offer. My experiences abroad have had an incredible impact on me personally and professionally, allowing me to grow and learn about myself while becoming immersed in different cultures. I have also learned many valuable lessons through interaction with people and cultures from around the world that I hope to share with my peers.

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

I have been lucky enough to participate in several international experiences during my time at Notre Dame. Early on in my time at Notre Dame, I felt drawn to the opportunity to learn about new cultures, while working to be a force for good around the globe, not just for those around me. I declared an International Development Studies minor during my freshman year which allowed me to take many classes that have only strengthened my interest in working toward global development. These classes gave me the opportunity to work with collaborators in Mexico, and enabled me to investigate more deeply how my career aspirations to become a doctor can intersect with my interest in development. Following this intersection led me to participate in a Global Medical Brigade, which allowed me to travel to Panama to assist in a medical clinic. Through the Kellogg International Scholars Program, I have also had the opportunity to complete international research, through which I honed my research skills for my International Development Studies Capstone Project. I recently returned from completing my project in Kisumu, Kenya where I worked with the Rusalia Resource Foundation investigating how to strengthen its mentorship program to promote the well-being and academic success of girls and address the barriers they face as they go through secondary school in Kenya. Finally, I have also had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, both to complete a Naughton Fellowship in Dublin the Summer before my junior year and to study abroad in Galway this past Spring. During these experiences I was able to participate in research labs while also immersing myself in a new culture and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. All of these adventures have not only enriched my personal understanding of the world and its many different cultures, but have also enhanced my skills in collaboration and problem solving, which will serve me well in my professional career.

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

It is important to focus on internationalization at Notre Dame because there is so much we can learn from other cultures and people around the world. International experiences are valuable for any student, regardless of intended profession, and can promote new ways of looking at the world that will provide benefit to students, personally and professionally no matter what their future holds. Notre Dame’s mission to be a force for good in the world would be impossible without a proper focus on how its students can interact with and learn from those around the world in positive ways. Notre Dame has also become a second home for me, and it is important that all students, especially international students who are far away from home and family can feel that same sense of belonging and safety at Notre Dame.