diversity ambassador

Every time I go to downtown, getting in and out of underground metro stations, I know this is Paris. Paris was once a name of romance in my mind. I got that stereotype from movies, music, and fashion, like everybody else. However, the opportunity of studying abroad here gave me the chance to learn about Paris. In Marais, the downtown district consisted of Center Pompidou, numerous gay and lesbian bars and boutiques, I saw individuals, who wear their own hair, their own clothing, especially females. Young girls, a black woman with a huge hat and a colorful long tight dress, madams with gray hair but exquisite make-ups. I would follow them and I can’t move my eyes off from them. I feel touched.

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Photo of Jose Diaz
José Diaz (B.B.A. finance '17) studied abroad in London through the Undergraduate International Business study abroad program. To help fund his study abroad experience, Diaz applied for and received several scholarships, including the Diversity Ambassador Scholarship. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Diaz started his dream job at JP Morgan Chase in Chicago as a corporate analyst – a job he feels his study abroad experience helped him land.

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My name is Mary Harkleroad and I am an undergraduate biomedical engineering student here at the University of Iowa. I participated in the CIMBA program located in Northern Italy at the Istituto Filippin. I was the first person in my family to study abroad as well as being the first to attend college. Needless to say, my family and myself were very skeptical about studying abroad at first. College alone provides many financial and personal challenges but applying the same concepts and adding in a whole new country is difficult to wrap your mind around. But it doesn’t have to be.

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Diversity Ambassador Faradis Lindblom
With my tan skin, Arabic first name and Finnish last name, I get asked a lot of questions about my identity in the U.S. Almost every time I am introduced to someone new, I can guarantee I will be asked “What is your nationality?” or “Where are your parents from?” And although I understand that most people mean well and are just curious, there are times that I can’t help but feel out of place in my home country and even home state of Iowa.

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Diversity Ambassador Taylor Limas
During my study abroad experience in Madrid, I was thankful for the sights I saw, the people I met, and the journeys I went on. But one of the most gratifying experiences was being able to find myself and identify with my Hispanic background. I felt as though a part of me that was empty for so long was finally filled.

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My name is Lina Khodor and I am a senior studying International Studies on the Human Rights track and with a minor in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. I studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic for the spring semester of 2017. In Prague I found myself inspired by the art, architecture, and the sheer amount of beer consumed by the locals.

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Diversity Ambassador Sydney Alexander
As a student with learning disabilities, routine and structure is something that I not only need, but that I like to change as little as possible. So as you can imagine, choosing to study abroad was one of the most adventurous, risky, and nerve-wracking decisions I’ve ever made. Flash forward to now: if you would have told me I would come back after just twelve weeks abroad a fearless, tenacious, culturally competent problem solver with a newly acquired travel addiction, I would have made the choice a long time ago.

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Diversity Ambassador Jenny Gonzalez
My name is Jenny and I am an undergraduate student currently in the athletic training program. I am a first generation student from the suburbs of Chicago. I am half Polish and half Guatemalan and, as you can imagine, I was brought up in a household full of different culture. From a young age I was very interested in indulging in different cultures so I knew studying abroad was something I wanted to do when I came to the University of Iowa.

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Diversity Ambassador Taylr Nobis
Hi there! My name is Taylr Nobis and I am a sophomore nursing student here at the University of Iowa. Traveling to India started out as a mere dream during my first semester of my freshman year. When I first heard about the India Winterim program I thought that it sounded like an amazing experience, but having never been out of the country (and barely out of the Midwest!), I never thought it would be something I would actually do. I put it out of my mind for almost a year, but in what seemed like a blink of the eye I was opening my acceptance letter to the program. It was quite the dream come true- I had always wanted to travel the world and this was such a great start to my worldwide adventure!

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Diversity Ambassador Alyssa Esquivel
My name is Alyssa, I am a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. I am excited to tell you about my study abroad experience in Alicante, Spain! Alicante really exceeded my expectations, I loved everything about that city. From its beautiful beaches and mountains to the cute little cafes on every block, it really is one of the most beautiful places I have visited.

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