Last summer, senior and global studies major Emi Tucker found herself backpacking across New Zealand and Australia. She was able to explore diverse cultures and see all that the world has to offer. Not only was it an insightful five weeks, but she learned to pack lightly and to live off the essentials. Beyond that, she was able to experience the beauty of God’s creation.
Although the global studies program at Anderson University started just two years ago, it offers many opportunities to students of all backgrounds. The global studies major is an interdisciplinary major is centered on today’s global world. “We offer four different concentrations, that include international affairs, community development, community health, and culture,” said Daniel Allen, assistant professor of political studies and director of global studies.
Photo: Emi Tucker spent 5 weeks in New Zealand and Australia studying abroad. Here, she stands on the shores of Auckland Harbor in New Zealand.
For Tucker, it was not hard to decide that she wanted to focus on culture. “The more you start studying all that the world has to offer, you begin to realize that you don’t know everything,” said Tucker. Not only did she realize what she enjoyed learning about, but others around her recognized it as well. “She is one of the most culturally sensitive and informed people I know, which is a quality that is far too rare,” said Elise Goodman, a senior education major and friend of Tucker’s.
Her interest in global studies was sparked during her time at Biola University majoring in intercultural studies. She continued pursuing global studies when she came to AU. “Dr. Allen helped work everything out for me,” said Tucker. Tucker admits she’s an idealist, and she needed Allen’s practical nature to help her see different viewpoints that would extend her thinking process.
Tucker has been across the United States, but she has also had the opportunity to travel to Romania, New Zealand, and Australia. Through her time studying abroad this summer, she enjoyed going to new places every day and learning new things about herself.
Her experience studying abroad in New Zealand and Australia became the most impactful trip she has taken. Tucker gives all credit to AU for this experience. “Through Arcadia University, which I heard about through Anderson’s website, I found out about the study abroad programs, and I knew I wanted to participate,” said Tucker. She also heard about the opportunity through the Au Sable Institute within the biology department.
The weeks she spent backpacking were challenging, but the experience exploring nature with 35 other students led her to see all that life had to offer. “Sometimes we tend to get stuck in our bubbles, but this experience really pushed me to live outside of the box,” said Tucker.
This perspective was something Tucker brought back when she returned home. “It is easy to get caught up in life around us, but Emi possesses such a global mind and perspective that it forces others to engage,” said Goodman. Due to Tucker’s involvement with her major, she has left an impact on many and raised awareness for discriminated and different cultures.
“Going to different places brings me a sense of peace,” said Tucker. She does not describe herself as an outdoor enthusiast, but through this eye-opening experience, she can see the effect of the wilderness on an individual.
Traveling to different places without knowing anyone can be quite frightening, but Tucker looks at everything as an opportunity to learn. “Emi is one of few students who can simply try anything and be brilliant at it,” said Allen.
Tucker’s care for others is also apparent to anyone she meets. She is passionate about those who have been discriminated against and also for the cultures who have experienced injustice. She finds joy in reaching out to others and hopes one day to turn her career into potential mission work.
With high interest in cultures and a passion for people, Emi will do whatever it takes to pursue her dreams. After graduating, she plans to pursue a post-baccalaureate pre-med program and eventually medical school to become a doctor. “I don’t know where I will find myself in the next 10 years,” said Tucker, “but I hope I’m serving people in the best possible way.”
— Katie Wenclewicz is a junior from Dayton, Ohio, majoring in communication arts and minoring in marketing. Wenclewicz is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.