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The Global Studies major is one of the reasons I chose Carolina, and I am forever grateful that I did. Over three years later, I feel that Global Studies has given me the opportunity to explore all of my interests without limits. The flexibility of the major allowed me to change my course of study multiple times, add a second major seamlessly, receive full credit from study abroad, and travel to conduct independent research.

Choosing to write an Honors thesis within the Curriculum added a new level to the major for me, helping me form stronger connections with Global Studies faculty and other Global students. I loved how in our small thesis class we all chose to write about completely different topics, but are still under the umbrella of the same major.

My thesis is focusing on the Disability Rights Movement in Argentina, a topic I came to while studying abroad in Buenos Aires first semester of my junior year. The Global Studies major prepared me extremely well for my study abroad experience since my focus/area corresponded perfectly with my program. While abroad I was able to travel to three other countries, in addition to backpacking through other parts of Argentina. By applying for grants through the UNC Center for Global Initiatives, I was able to return to Buenos Aires this past Fall Break and conduct more interviews for my thesis.

As a senior, I look back on some of the most formative experiences I’ve had at Carolina and see that many of them—study abroad, thesis writing, relationships with professors—came through the Global Studies major. The major allows its students study what and how they want, letting their passions shape their academic career—a characteristic that I think all higher education should seek to embody more. I’ll be sad to leave Carolina, but am very grateful for everything I have gained from Global Studies and know it will guide me well in whatever I choose to do next.

 

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Zoe Zakin was awarded First Place in the 2016 Global Photography Competition for “At the End of the World,” a photograph she took at Santa Cruz, Argentina.  Click here for Zoe’s photograph being featured as the winner of the Carolina Global Photography Competition