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‘Globalista’ has an international focus

Whether it’s studying abroad or having a conversation in the dining hall, it’s good for students to break out of their comfort zones and take part in international relations, senior Kristyn Mohr says.

“It’s important not to have a single-minded view of how the world works,” says Mohr, a double major in linguistics and Arabic. “We live on a diverse campus within a diverse country. There are many people with different backgrounds and cultural histories. Learning that differences exist –and that they’re OK – makes you a better citizen overall.”

Mohr, 21, is doing her part to make sure students realize the importance of internationalization. As the international engagement intern at the Career Development Center, she is helping others build on their experiences when they return from abroad, be it information about clubs that tie language and culture or how to find jobs that have an international focus.

Too often, Mohr says, students “close the book” on a study abroad. Some do not even place it on their resumes.

“It’s not a blip on the screen of their undergraduate career,” she says. “Show how the experience transformed you or prepared you for a future endeavor in any field.”

Mohr also serves as the undergraduate representative of the Globalistas, a volunteer group of faculty, staff and students committed to increasing awareness of internationalization. One activity she worked on -- helping to plan a panel during International Education Week in which participants discussed how international work transformed their attitudes and decisions.

Nancy Paul, Career Development Center director who has worked with Mohr in the CDC position and with the Globalistas, calls the Staten Island resident “an exceptional student.”

“Kristyn brings enthusiasm and passion to both roles and has made significant contributions in advancing our efforts to develop resources and programs that motivate and assist students as they explore and pursue international opportunities,” she says.

That enthusiasm and passion stem primarily from a study-abroad trip to Morocco that Mohr took in the summer of 2008 and her work in English Conversation Pairs. In the latter program, native English speakers meet with non-English speakers in a casual setting to work on conversation skills.

“You gain a lot of cultural insight because most of your conversations are about families, school systems and politics,” she says. “Continuing in the program when I returned from Morocco with a broader perspective was interesting and important.”

Mohr, who spent last summer in New York City as an intern for a translation company, hopes to spend a year or two after graduation teaching English abroad before getting into cross-cultural communication or international-education work.

“On the first day of my freshman year, I never would’ve guessed that I would go to Morocco or have a fluency in Arabic,” she says. “When I came to Binghamton, I realized there were things outside of math, science and history. There were all of these other options.”

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Last Updated: 12/1/09