at Miami University
Student Profile: Amelia Wester (Class of 2014)
- double major in international studies and Latin American studies
- minor in Spanish
- from Beachwood, OH
- Vice President and Treasurer for Guate Bonita, a student organization that raises funds for a school in rural Guatemala
- studying abroad in Colombia for the entire 2013-14 academic year
Liberal arts courses teach a different way of thinking than other courses, which can be useful outside of Miami. I have loved all of the courses that I have taken for both my majors, because they often include lively discussions on topics that are important to me, such as current events happening all around the world.
"I chose Miami mainly for practical reasons—it was in-state and the right distance from home. It's close enough that I can go home on weekends if I want to, but far enough to be independent.
"The first time I thought about majoring in International Studies was in eighth grade, and this interest only grew throughout high school. I was originally an International Studies and Spanish double major with a minor in Latin American Studies, but I swapped Spanish for Latin American Studies during my sophomore year."
Best Things About Miami
"My favorite part about Miami is the amazing friends I've made and the professors who care! My professors have been wonderful, engaged, and extremely helpful; I can't think of an experience I've had with any faculty member who's been bad. I think that my International Studies/Latin American Studies majors are not only teaching me basic knowledge in those subject areas, but they're also helping me to think about global/Latin American issues and current events. Overall, it's been a very positive experience!
"On a more specific level, I'm currently studying abroad in Colombia for the year, and it's amazing so far. Both as a freshman and a sophomore, I was able to also travel to Guatemala with a Miami student organization called Guate Bonita, which raises money for a Guatemalan school."
Miami and the Liberal Arts
"Liberal arts courses teach a different way of thinking than other courses, which can be useful outside of Miami. I have loved all of the courses that I have taken for both my majors, because they often include lively discussions on topics that are important to me, such as current events happening all around the world. My liberal arts education here has also influenced my decision to study abroad in Colombia, which is where I am now!"
"I first learned about my current study abroad opportunity from Miami's website and decided to apply because I have wanted to visit Colombia for many years. Because I'm the vice president and treasurer of Guate Bonita, I've been involved with raising money for a school in rural Guatemala to help the local children improve their educational experiences. I've already traveled to Guatemala and visited the school twice as a Miami student.
"I think that travel is always beneficial because it allows you to meet new people who often have had vastly different life experiences and perspectives that you can learn from. If you're learning a language, traveling to a country that speaks that language is also a great way to practice! One of the reasons I travel to Latin America as much as possible is to practice my Spanish, and in that way I think that I have benefited immensely. Needless to say, I believe that knowing another language and culture can only help in a future career or life in general.
"Of course, travel always makes me leave my comfort zone, but in the best way possible. By being slightly 'uncomfortable,' I am able to experience new things, learn about other people, including their perspectives on things, and learn about myself."
Advice for Students
"Of course, I believe in working hard in your classes, but also in taking advantage of experiences offered outside of the classroom. Study abroad or travel as much and as soon as possible! Also try to balance it with internships and research, however, as these can also be great learning experiences and help when looking for a job."