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International studies major stresses the importance of being a global citizen

Francesca sits cross-legged in the grass and smiles.Francesca Bisciglia, '16, is an international studies major who emphasizes the importance of global awareness in every context.

"Being a better global citizen requires one to deepen his or her understanding of the world," Bisciglia says. "The international studies major combines history, politics and language in order to develop a student's ability to think critically about other countries and one's perceptions of them. The major has allowed me to study a variety of topics, all of which have helped me to better understand my role in the global community."

A crucial component of gaining global awareness is the opportunity to study abroad, as Bisciglia experienced at the university's former Costa Rica Center.

"My semester there was the single most influential and enriching experience during my time at Whitworth because of the way it helped me to think critically about other cultures and my own culture," Bisciglia says. "I developed meaningful and lasting relationships on this trip that showed me the meaning of 'community,' and I gained the skills necessary to think about the world around me in a more holistic way."

In addition to experiencing other cultures, Bisciglia has explored Whitworth's culture during her time at the university, especially through her interactions with members of Capernaum. Capernaum is a Young Life ministry focused on members with mental and physical disabilities.

"As I spend time with my Capernaum friends in the community, I am often reminded of their everyday struggles and the ways in which a community can falsely perceive them," Bisciglia says. "Walking with students through their struggles and wrestling with the misconceptions and stereotypes that they experience has been a challenging aspect of my work that I will continue to wrestle with after leaving Capernaum in May and entering my future profession."

In June, Bisciglia will move to Nashville to pursue a master of education degree from Vanderbilt University.

"I am confident that this program will prepare me to be a future high school social studies and Spanish teacher who empowers young adults to pursue their aspirations while bettering themselves, their neighborhoods, and the global community," Bisciglia says.