The Life Of An International Studies Student

The Life Of An International Studies Student

Now that I'm in my major where do I go next?

In the middle of last quarter, I got an e-mail congratulating me on getting into the International Studies major at UW, also known as JSIS (Jackson School of International Studies, for those who don’t know).

It was simultaneously great and a relief; for a few weeks after I sent in the application, I thought about what could’ve happened should I not get in—as in, how to pad up on introductory political science classes so I could get in the less competitive political science major. That was no longer a worry; though going forward is also worth the challenge, considering how it’s structured.


When I first got into the University of Washington, what confused me was about how the International Studies major would go. Applying for colleges, what I wanted to go for was International Relations, which I believed focused more on foreign policy and negotiations. I also came close to accepting an offer from one of the most well-known schools for such in Washington, D.C.

In the University of Washington, International Studies is not one concrete thing, but rather, a combination of various social sciences. In the introductory classes, history is a primary focus, though anthropology also plays through the “Cultural Interactions in the Modern World” class. Economics is also significant through the required micro- and macro- introductory classes, along with International Political Economy.

In my experience, all the classes had something to offer and interested me, though the readings were dense and I would sometimes falter through them. My International Political Economy class focused on Crime and Corruption, which is something I would think about in multiple contexts, but didn’t think about. Nevertheless, it was quite interesting.

Once into the major, multiple tracks open: some regional, some relational. Regions included Europe, the Middle East, East and South Asia, Canada, Latin America, and Africa. Relational, however, focuses more on issues, such as International Communications, Development, International Political Economy, and Foreign Policy.

I’ve focused on the latter, because it’s the career track in which I want to get into the future. While a lot of on-the-ground work exists in development, human rights, and other tracks so that individual lives can be better, I believe with diplomacy, nations could work together to forge sustainable peace treaties. It’s something which was incandescent in me since my sophomore year Model United Nations simulation in high school.


While some people believe the hardest thing after getting into a certain group is staying in there, I think a hard part is where I would take this degree into the future.

The JSIS Program is unique in UW in that it features a Task Force project, which will be held in the winter of one’s junior or senior year. Featuring an extensive research project on a global issue, it’s such a great opportunity. Simultaneously, it is also demanding.

Also, my parents are concerned at the job prospects. Compared to more technical majors such as computer science or engineering; or a pre-med potential such as biochemistry, International Studies is more amorphous. It provides a lot of information in knowledge and research and writing skills, though how do you apply it?

I see myself working in a think tank in the future; I can not only apply my knowledge, but also write out my ideas for problem solving in foreign policy. All while mostly avoiding the quagmire in elected politics. My fear, however, is that in a few years I won’t be doing such work, but will rather be a lawyer, a teacher, or an advisor for other students.

Ultimately, I want to develop myself into a more interested person in world politics, along with building a skill base to rise into relevance. Isn’t that what all JSIS majors want?

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.


Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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