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  • Writer's pictureHumans of International Studies

DANIEL (3rd year)

“One of my big role models is my grandma because she is one of those people that kept broadening her horizons and educating herself. She did her PhD later in life, at the age of 63, in Belgium. She is one of those people that never settled down and kept challenging herself, both in terms of pursuing various disciplines but also by working in different fields. I admire her for achieving so much as I would like to accomplish that in my life as well.

I grew up in a German-Mexican household in Eastern Germany, and due to being queer societal boxes never really fitted me there. Also living in South Korea during my gap year, allowed me to change my perspective of how I look at people and life in general. Such experiences make you appreciative of how different cultures work, including the diversity of traditions that exist, and the value of learning a new language. My upbringing in a binational environment already taught me to have empathy for other people but this experience really showed me that people are not that different at all. We all just want to live our lives, have a home and three meals a day.

I don’t want to constrain myself within certain boundaries since things in life are never at a constant fix but rather ambiguous and fluid. This is also something my grandma has taught me because she did not have a life trajectory during which you graduate, get a job, and then retire. She showed me that it is possible to pursue opportunities that are not directly study-related. So, the lesson I learnt is that you can continue to learn and develop yourself at any age, also relatively late in life. By doing so, you ensure that you are not entrapping yourself in only one way of thinking, but continue to develop yourself.”

(Daniel, Dresden, 3rd year)

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