International Studies  

AQ Difference

Outstanding Senior Awards 2015
Senior Awards




Graduating seniors Tyler Wayne Clark and Zack Stepanovich were honored as the International Studies Program's Outstanding Senior for the 2014-2015 academic year.


Congratulations Tyler and Zack!

International Studies Alumni
Alumnus Profile: Adam Hii '11
Adam Hii For Aquinas students, studying abroad is the perfect opportunity to step outside the boundaries of a conventional education, gaining hands-on experience in new cultures and ways of life. After returning, many students are never the same. Coupled with the passion for service, a hallmark of an Aquinas education, graduates may find themselves traveling the world to the aid of the global community. Just ask Adam Hii, a 2011 graduate currently living and working in Botswana. Hii is serving as a member of the Peace Corps, an American organization which provides humanitarian aid and other services to various countries around the world. >Read More
Alumnus Profile: Michael Stephenson '09
Michael Stephenson Committed to service of others, Aquinas graduates take what they’ve learned and serve in a variety of ways all around the world. Michael Stephenson ’09, a dual major of¬†political science¬†and¬†international studies, is a clear example of this commitment to serve. Stephenson’s studies at Aquinas often featured a special emphasis on the Middle East. Now an instructor in Saudi Arabia, Stephenson has been empowered by the core values of an Aquinas education as he learns to live and thrive in a vastly different culture. >Read More
Alumnus Profile: Alex Cook '08
Alumni Profile: Alex Cook

I am a currently serving Peace Corps volunteer in the TEFL sector here in Romania. I live and work in a commune of about 5,000 people. The community is made up of four villages where most of the people are farmers. I teach second through eighth grade English to nearly 350 students. I also work on secondary projects that range from tutoring to helping with the training of new volunteers.

My time at Aquinas instilled in me a sense of duty to serve those less fortunate than myself. After completing a semester abroad at Dominican University in San Rafael, California, through the sister schools program, I decided I also wanted to see the world. Using the resources available at the Career and Counseling office I decided that Peace Corps would be the best way to both serve those less fortunate than myself and see the world. 


I encourage all Aquinas students to engage in study abroad programs and service learning trips. You will never know what you are truly passionate about until you get out there and start doing it!

Alumna Profile: Liz Ivkovich '07
Pashupati... Hindu temple complex... Mother Teresa's home for the dying in Kathmandu, Nepal... one of my favorite places in the world...
Alumni Profile: Liz Ivkovich Alumni Profile: Liz Ivkovich
Four mornings a week I leave my flat in the neighborhood of Dallu with my teammate Gloria at 7:30 a.m. We walk twenty minutes and ride the “blue microbus” for another twenty minutes to reach Pashupati. Past the monkeys on the sidewalk and the women in their red saris who sell flowers and Tikka powder for puja offerings, to the entrance and the sound of the elderly men and women who live in this decrepit building singing and clapping their worship. “Namaste! Namaste! Namaste!” we greet the Amaas and Bwaas (Mothers and Fathers). We put on our aprons and flip-flops, and pray with Sister Sabika Mary and Sister Basila- the two Missionaries of Charity who love and care for the patients.
The other volunteers and myself make the beds “nicely” as Sister Sabika taught us- the same way Mother Teresa taught her. We sweep and swab the hallway style rooms where thirty women and men live. On Tuesdays we bathe the women and wash their clothes, Fridays- the men, Saturdays- the sheets. Sometimes there is no water coming out of the tanks and we have to pump it from the well, bringing the buckets across the courtyard.
We carry some of the patients from their beds into the sun and lead others to sit on benches and old bed frames. Even with my broken Nepali I can tell when I put an Amaa in the wrong place, as the other patients start gesturing and yelling at me. When I forget to give the traditional "Namaste" greeting with my palms together in front of my chin the Amaas correct me with stern looks and comments that make everyone else laugh.
My favorite Amaa's name is Meinchha. She keeps everybody in line, making sure that the other Amaas go outside to their designated places, everybody has the pillow that they like, and the volunteers are all sweeping the floor the way they should. Every morning we hang up lines of clean laundry and every afternoon she comes and takes it down- making sure its folded and neatly put away.
Mienchha can't speak and uses very dramatic sign language to communicate. She only has a few of her teeth and no hair since the Sisters shave all of the patients' heads. Her eyes are crossed and drool comes out of her constantly open mouth. She doesn't like me very much, mostly because my sweeping isn't up to her rigid standards. After the first month, our relationship changes. Maybe I realize how much I can learn from her, maybe she decides that she has properly trained me to sweep, I don't know. Meinchha lets me hug her and try on her clothes, and smiles when I say “good morning,” her mouth open wide. Sometimes if I come behind her and start to tickle her sides she will turn around and hit me, then burst out in laughter. I traveled to Asia on a four month “Servant Team” with Word Made Flesh, a non-profit Christian organization that serves among the poorest of the poor around the world. I spent time in India and Sri Lanka before myself and my three teammates arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal- our final destination. I left to change the world and came back sure of my inability to make a difference, except in myself. I left with all the answers and came back filled with questions. I was humbled time and again by my ignorance, and learned so much more than I ever expected from those that I met. Most important of all, I went to bring Jesus, and instead found Him in the faces of the Amaas at Pashupati, our neighbors, and my teammates.