Christopher Perez Majors: Political Science, German, and International Studies Year: Junior
What led to your decision to choose ISU? I mainly chose ISU because of how close it is to home. I also felt like it was the best decision for me, as far as my academics go, when it came down to making a final decision. I also love the campus here and was able to be around it when my Aunt attended Iowa State when I was much younger.
Why did you choose to major in political science? I originally started out as a Computer Science major because in high school I thought making websites were fun. It wasn’t until I started getting into the actual nuts and bolts of it where I found out that computer science deals a lot more with math. I’m not the best at math. I started to think what really interests me, and when it came down to it, it was learning about world issues and being aware of what is going on with the world and how everything works in the political sphere. I’m also very into current events and global issues, which is sort of why I ultimately chose political science. German is my favorite major, due to how interesting the language is as well as the literature. I also find German culture to be amazing, hence why I will have spent a good time abroad in German speaking countries.
How does what you’re studying fit into long term career goals? I’m a junior in college and I still have yet to figure out what I really want to do in life after college. I have considered becoming a professor though, and studying what I am now will help me ultimately teach what I would like to be teaching if I were to become a professor later on in life. If not a professor, I have also thought about being a lobbyist or a lawyer. Having political science will help me if that is the route that I end up taking.
What will you be studying in Austria? During my time in Austria, I will be studying at the university in Salzburg. While there, I will be taking a grammar course to help improve the overall language. I will also be taking classes ranging from history to geography. The total credit hours will be somewhere around 15, and every class is taught in German and there is no English used. In fact, English is discouraged as we are there to learn the language and they encourage us to use it 24/7.
How has the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences helped you prepare for a semester abroad? The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is responsible for pretty much everything that I have done in college so far and will be doing in the upcoming months. My German professor and adviser have both been very helpful with my upcoming semester in Austria and this past summer when I was in Berlin. If it weren’t for my German professor, I probably wouldn’t have even considered continuing on with German, let alone go abroad two times during my college career. He was also able to direct me to the adviser in the World Languages and Cultures department who helped me out with figuring out my recently finished time in Berlin as well as told me about the program that I will be doing this upcoming fall. She has helped me so much throughout the process and I can’t even say enough to thank both her and my professor for all of the encouragement and help these past few months. My adviser actually attended the program that I will be taking part in, so she is very educated and that was shown during the whole application process.
What extracurricular activities are you involved in through school? I am involved with my fraternity Beta Theta Pi. One of the greatest decisions that I have ever made while at Iowa State was joining Beta Theta Pi. I have met so many great friends that will be there for me long after college is done. Without some of the friends that I have made through my fraternity, I would not nearly be as successful in school or outgoing as I am now. I cannot stress enough how being apart of Beta Theta Pi has made my time here both more enjoyable and memorable.
Is there a standout course you’ve taken that’s impacted your experience? German 102 is probably the most standout course that I have taken here. My original plan with German was to only take 101 and 102 for the foreign language requirements here. After taking 102 with my professor that I had for that course, I became much more interested in the language, culture, and everything else involved with German. It was then decided, after this course, to minor in German, which led to eventually majoring in it due to how much time abroad in a German speaking country I will have had.
What’s the most fun campus event or tradition you’ve taken part in? The best tradition that I have taken part in would honestly have to be campaniling. That may sound a little cheesy, but it’s honestly one of the best feelings you can have…if you do it with the right person, of course. My girlfriend and I have done this tradition so many times I have lost count, but every time feels like the first time and it’s always fun to do, especially during homecoming when a ton of people do it at the same time.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? My favorite spot on campus is the periodicals in the library. I honestly love to study and read and I’m only able to do this when it is completely silent and quiet. The periodicals are my go to spot on campus to study and just get away.
What’s your favorite app? Flappy bird is probably my favorite app. It helps with boredom and those long flights abroad.
What would make the world a better place? The world would become a better place if we would all just learn that everyone is different. We can’t keep treating everyone the same way we treat ourselves because not every single country out there is the same. We need to look past our differences and accept them and work together to solve problems. I don’t think war and violence is the answer at all. I also feel like we need to take the issue of global warming more seriously in order to prevent anything worse from happening to our eco system. The world would be a lot different, in a bad way, if we keep polluting like we do. The biggest thing I’d like to see to help make the world a better place would be if we all just appreciated the earth we live on a little bit more.
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