The University of Iowa

Brigid Freymuller Reflects on Race and Ethnicity: Classical Language and an appreciation of diversity

December 21st, 2011

Reflections on Race and Ethnicity

Hello, everyone! I am Brigid Freymuller, a senior here at the University of Iowa. I am studying Classical Language and History with the hopes of going on to a Ph.D. program in Classical Art and Archeology. I received the Ambassador Scholarship through the Study Abroad office for a winter semester program covering the history of the city, Athens, Greece. I had previously taken the course, Concepts of the City:  Athens, in which we studied the city’s history from the Bronze Age (ca. 3300-1150 BC) to the modern era. The study abroad component of the course provided students the opportunity to travel to Athens and see the sites and artifacts discussed in the course. I love history and its art and being able to travel to Athens after studying its history and culture made everything so much more a reality.

I am originally from Seoul, South Korea, but I was adopted by Americans and came to the states a few weeks after I had turned one. I lived in Omaha, NE until moving to attend school at the University of Iowa. Omaha is still very much a segregated town. I did not see another Asian child at school until junior high, thus making diversity a very difficult and painful concept for me to grasp; however, I came to realize that everyone is different in their own special way, and although other kids made fun of me for my physical differences up until high school, I took these experiences, and they helped shape my much broader view of humanity and our role in the international arena.

I encourage everyone to study abroad. Take the chance, discover yourself, find out what your interests are, and I promise you—it will change your life in the most positive way!

Brigid Freymuller