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Student Testimonials

Photo of Zach Reizes

Zach Reizes, Class of 2019

“Halfway through high school, I already knew that I wanted to study global politics and the Middle East. My family’s heritage is from the region, and my Jewish roots informed a love of social justice and humanitarian work. For me, these two interests blend together in a desire to help develop solutions to some of the planet’s most contrived political conflicts.

Since starting college, my interests have broadened in scope and depth. But my passion for development work and leveraging political policy to save lives remains undimmed. There is no closer or more interesting avenue to pursue that focus than through the Global Studies program at Ohio University.”

Zach studied abroad twice during his time at Ohio University. In the summer of 2016, he traveled to Israel to conduct individual research and intern at regional organizations engaged with Israeli-Palestinian politics.

He also participated in OHIO’s Balkan Conservation, Peacebuilding, and Ecotourism program during the summer of 2017.

  • BA – Global Studies: War and Peace
  • Hometown – Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Student Senate Center for International Studies Representative
  • Cutler Scholars Program Council Class of 2019 Representative
  • Athens County Democratic Party Organizer
Photo of Sarah Strinka

Sarah Strinka, Class of 2018

"I think the most important thing that I have gained by being part of the Center for International Studies at OHIO is perspective. By having an interdisciplinary curriculum, I have had the opportunity to look at the same issue in different ways. Even though this perspective is in an academic setting, it has also impacted the way I approach problems and interactions in daily life. My time in CIS has given me the perspective, encouragement, and lasting relationships that I will carry with me, even after graduation.”

Sarah studied abroad in Hyderabad, India with coursework focused on Indian Foreign Policy. She also interned at the American Red Cross, was a delegate at the Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA) 2017 at West Point Military Academy, and won an award in the Political Science department for the best undergraduate paper in international relations titled “Moving Away from Authoritarian Regimes: Journalists’ Rights Violations in Insecure Democracies”.

Sarah continued her education at OHIO, pursuing a MA in Political Science with an International Relations concentration, and graduated in 2020.

  • Majors: Global Studies: War and Peace & Political Science
  • Minor: French
  • Certificates: African Studies & French and Francophone Studies
  • Hometown: Berea, Ohio
  • Study abroad: Hyderabad, India Fall 2016
  • Internship: American Red Cross Spring 2017
  • SCUSA: Foreign Aid and Development delegate, November 2017
  • Global Studies Student Ambassador (2015)
  • Center for International Studies Social Media Strategist 2017-2018
Photo of Emily Weaver

Emily Weaver, Class of 2015

“I am happy about my decision to attend Ohio University. I love the sense of community on campus and in Athens. There is a connection that ties everyone together and continues long after graduation. I found a community that helped me to strengthen my leadership capabilities outside of the classroom.

Global Studies majors can personalize their major to reflect their interests and focus on a specific region of the world. We are required to study, intern, or work abroad. Living outside the country can be daunting and this major gives students the push they need to leave the U.S. When I studied abroad, I didn’t experience much culture shock because I had already been involved in the extensive international community in Athens. OHIO gave me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone and to see the world in a different light.

Regardless of the career I choose, the Global Studies major gives me the international experience necessary to succeed.”

  • B.A., Global Studies – Asia / History double major
  • East Asian Studies certificate
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate
  • Hometown: Mentor, Ohio
  • Studied Abroad in Xi’an, China (2013)
  • Global Studies Student Ambassador (2013-2015)
  • Programming Director and Secretary for the International Student Union
  • Conversation Partner for the Ohio Program of Intensive English
  • International Media Assistant for the Ohio University Office of Gift Planning
  • Intern at the Dr. Shao You-Bao Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center
  • Paraprofessional at the Career Network
  • Alumni Engagement Committee Member for the Student Alumni Board
A student standing up.

Omar Mohammed Kurdi, Class of 2015

“Ohio University has provided me the opportunity to grow personally, professionally, and academically. It truly provides a transformative community and experience. During my undergraduate career I found a family with the international students and gave back to the community by serving the International Student Union, one of the leading student organizations.

The Global Studies Major is unique in that it combines the detailed studies of social science along with a broad vision of how those disciplines interact. This allows a student to view larger global issues from a deep interdisciplinary perspective that opens for more creative and long lasting solutions. I hope this training will allow me to approach my future career, and all the challenges that come with it, with a broad but grounded approach to solutions.”

  • B.A., Global Studies – War and Peace / Political Science double major
  • French minor
  • European Studies Certificate
  • Hometown: Madinah, Saudi Arabia
  • Studied abroad at Ohio University
  • Interned with the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA (2013)
  • Interned with Amnesty International USA in Washington, DC (2014)
  • Vice President of the International Student Union (2014-2015)
  • Global Studies Student Ambassador (2014-2015)
A student on a balcony.

Claire Splain Bens, Class of 2014

“OU was one of the best decisions I could have made for me. The atmosphere of learning and fun at OU were a perfect balance to allow me to excel and have a really excellent college experience at the same time. However, the most rewarding part of my time studying at Ohio University was that I grew to love academia.

I applied to OU as a political science major. I took a course with the Global Leadership Center and added a second major in Global Studies - War and Peace. I could study a myriad of different regions and languages rather than focusing on one particular area. I got to study politics, sociology, anthropology, history, and even law enforcement. Global Studies introduced me to different forms of social research and inspired my interest in several regional conflicts.

I currently live in London and am completing my M.Sc. in Conflict Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I am writing my dissertation on how perceived victimhood affects the national identity of youth. After I complete my M.Sc., I plan to hike the Camino de Santiago from the French border to the Western edge of Spain. I have also applied to volunteer for the 2016 Peace Corps. I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in International Relations.”

  • B.A., Global Studies – War and Peace / Political Science double major
  • Spanish minor
  • Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
  • ISEP-Direct Study Abroad, University of Hyderabad, India (Spring 2013)
  • API Study Abroad, Universidad Vina del Mar, Chile (Fall 2012)
  • Office of Education Abroad Peer Advisor (2013-2014)
  • War and Peace Studies Student Ambassador (2013-2014)
  • Alden Library Research Desk Overnight Assistant (2013-2014)
  • Bobcats for Suicide Prevention Campaign President and Founder (2013- 2014)
  • Suicide Prevention Coalition Student Representative (2013-2014)
  • Phi Beta Kappa (2014)
  • Teach for America Operations Coordinator (Memphis 2014, Chicago 2013)
  • Alpha Lambda Delta President (2011-2012)
  • Office of Outdoor Pursuits Office Assistant (2010-2012)
  • Children’s International Summer Villages National Youth Meeting Committee Chair (2010-2012)

Many of our students have also written blogs about their experiences in our program in recent years: