Miriam Bethencourt

Emaill: mbethenc@nd.edu 

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

As a Venezuelan-American, I grew up with an international identity, and I've always considered it a great strength of mine, allowing me a broader view of the world. My experiences abroad have also  been times of spiritual and personal growth, widening my horizons, challenging my aspirations and assumptions, and strengthening me with the strengths of each new culture. I am serving as a Senior Fellow for Internationalization to share some of those transformative lessons I have learned through my international encounters and to encourage my peers to partake in and discover some of their own.

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

I've lived abroad in Pamplona, Spain and Jerusalem, Israel, and visited many countries in between, including Chile, Honduras, and Venezuela. Every experience has been incredibly fulfilling, as each new culture and country has some lesson to teach, some beauty to boast, and some challenge to overcome. Living abroad has taught me to be resourceful and self-reliant and given me different lenses with which to understand conflict and peace.

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

Notre Dame is deeply concerned with justice and peace. On campus, I have always felt a collective desire to make the world a better and more loving place. Focusing on internationalization at Notre Dame can provide a vision of what that world looks like beyond our communities here in South Bend and our hometowns. With a greater understanding of the world we want to change, we are better able to make the difference we are working for.