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I am applying to the Masters in International Relations/Masters in International Relations and Regional studies program for the Fall of 2018. After earning my undergraduate degree in Foreign Languages and Global Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, I decided that I wanted to put my skills to work in helping others. Throughout my entire life, I have been raised with a love and deep appreciation for the understanding and tolerance of other cultures and nations.
The decision to pursue my Masters in this field grew from several notable experiences in my life. Though I was born in the United States, I was raised bilingually in an English and Spanish speaking household and spent my early childhood years in a small mountain village in Costa Rica. This early introduction to travel and living abroad inspired me to participate in student exchanges later in life. During my junior year of high school (2011-2012), I moved to Poland with the Rotary Youth Exchange Program. Living with a host family, learning Polish, attending a Polish high school and being an youth ambassador for the United States taught me what it means to influence and change the perception of your country.
After returning to the United States, the reverse culture shock was a struggle for me, and I longed for the cross-cultural connections that I had made abroad. I participated in my second cultural exchange with the API Study abroad program in Granada, Spain for a summer during my sophomore year of college. Because the concentration of my Bachelor’s degree is Spanish, this exchange was a way for me to reconnect with my childhood and further develop my language skills. In addition to my experiences as an exchange student, I also strengthened international ties on the UAF campus as a Global Campus Ambassador for the Office for International Programs and Initiatives, and as an intern for the Peace Corps campus recruiter. I was involved in helping international students integrate into UAF life and campus activities, and gave lectures to many classes and clubs.
During my education at UAF, I was also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the United States’ largest co-educational service fraternity. As a “Brother”, I learned many important aspects of servant leadership and service, something that reconnected me with my past as a Rotary Exchange Student, all of whom live by the mantra of “Service Above Self”. I have watched world leaders struggle with this concept, and during the last few years I have struggled to find confidence in my own government.
I have chosen to apply to the Leeds Beckett University//University of Tartu because I am passionate in my principles and my willingness to serve on behalf of the American people as a Foreign Service Officer or other diplomatic position. I believe that my ability to do so will be strengthened and purposeful through obtaining this degree.
Thank you for considering my application. It would be an honor to continue my studies and pursue my passion at the Leeds Beckett University/University of Tartu.