Lynnaya Preuss ‘22
The IS Minor is a Valuable Supplement to Any Major
You could say that it all started for me in 7th grade. That was the year that I hosted a student from Japan for two eye-opening, laughter-filled, and, most of all, short weeks. My small hometown and Saga City, Japan are sister cities: members of our communities were brought together at a balloon festival in 1986 and decided to form an official long standing relationship fostered through international exchange. In addition to welcoming my host student into my home, I was a beneficiary of this partnership in that I, too, got to travel the nearly 7,000 miles across the globe to spend two weeks with her and her family that stretched my heart and mind.
Flash forward to the start of my college career. Following the blur of excitement and confusion that was my first semester of college, I was certain that I wanted to be a psychology major; the subject matter fascinated me. For a brief moment, I thought of putting myself out there as an applicant to the IS major; my middle school international exchange experience had blossomed into a strong interest in foreign languages and cultural understanding and I thrived in my Spanish classes and Model OAS (Organization of American States). However, the moment passed and I decided not to apply.
Nonetheless, as I sat in Perspectives: War/Aggression, a theology class that caught my eye as I was registering for second semester classes, absolutely fascinated by and deeply immersed in our discussion of the ethics involved in initiating drone strikes within the framework of just-war theory (check out the film Eye in the Sky!), I knew that I wanted to continue engaging with those types of ideas. Although my main academic interests were in the field of psychology, I saw the value of investing in another area of study.
Enter the IS minor. To my great delight, I discovered that the International Studies Program offers a less-extensive, but equally engaging, course of study. As an IS minor concentrating in Ethics and Social Justice, I have been able to pursue and cultivate an understanding of the role of religion and other ethical frameworks in international affairs by taking classes in theology, philosophy, and political science. From considering the challenge of peace as it relates to hostilities between ethnic groups to analyzing the pros and cons of allowing transnational corporations to draw economies into global value chains, I’ve been able to expand my knowledge and critical thinking skills. Moreover, while the classes offered are wonderful, there’s more to the International Studies Program that IS minors can get involved in: minors are more than welcome to participate in the variety of projects that the Program has. For example, my involvement in Global Conversations –- virtual conversations with university students across the world on a variety of
interesting issues –- has been a great way to supplement my studies.
All that is to say, the IS minor is a worthwhile investment! No matter your major, the reality is that our world is becoming increasingly connected. The IS minor provides opportunities for any BC student to grapple with the intricacies of this fact and prepares them to be a true global citizen. Also, I think you’d be surprised to find, as I have, how your major and minor coursework can come together in unique ways to spark new curiosities. Don’t be fooled: IS minors are just as much a part of the International Studies Program as IS majors are. So, what do you think? Are you ready to add an IS minor?
Lynnaya Preuss '22