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International Studies Gets a Shout-Out in New Book

January 15, 2018

Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania

Frank Bruni's latest book, Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, give a positive reflection on UW's International Studies (previously Global & Area Studies) program in the excerpt below: 

"A good friend of mine spent the fall semester of 2014 as a visiting professor at the University of Wyoming, with which she'd been wholly unfamiliar, and was blown away by the university's deep funds (thanks to the state's oil and gas wealth), the sophistication and training of its faculty, and the international diversity of its graduate students, most of whom interact extensively with undergraduates, sharing their world-views. My friend was teaching in the Global & Area Studies Program, and when she went to a retreat sponsored by the program at the start of classes, she found herself tangled in a back-and-forth between a professional soldier from India who was taking a break to get a master's degree and a graduate student from Kenya; they were debating and discussing marriage practices in their respective cultures. Three visiting scholars from Shanghai at the retreat were still getting accustomed to Wyoming's chill and altitude. One of two female students engaged in a game of checkers was blond, blue-eyed and from Wisconsin; the other was from Tunisia and wore a headscarf. Nearby, a Californian just back from several years in Taiwan chatted with a Moroccan who was teaching in the school's Arabic program. 

At the University of Wyoming my friend also met tow professors, a married couple, with doctorates from Cambridge University and a herd of wagyu cattle that they raised on their nearby ranch. She crossed paths with a sociologist from Sweden who'd begun her career as a detective with the Stockholm police department. And the class that my friend herself was teaching included a graduate student from Turkmenistan and another from Strasbourg, France. 

"This is in Laramie, Wyoming!" my friend marveled – a city of about thirty-two thousand people in the least populous state in America. "Everyone I meet here is interesting. I hope these students understand how privileged they are." As she said that, I smiled. She'd invoked "Privilege" in a way that it's too seldom used in conversations about college, but she'd done truer, fuller justice to the word." 


- From Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni. Grand Central Publishing, 2016. 

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