Meet Political Science Student Elizabeth Santina Paresi
Elizabeth Santina Paresi was raised in Seattle. Santina is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science with minors in Communications and Creative Writing. She is part of JCU’s Student Government and is also a Student Ambassador.
Tell us about your background.
I had done extensive travel before attending JCU, both in and out of the United States, and this is where I gained my passion for learning about other cultures. This is a bit of a sore subject, but when I was nine years old my father was killed in Afghanistan. After this life-changing event, I knew I wanted to become more involved in global affairs, and specifically focus on security and diplomacy. When I was applying for colleges, I had never heard of John Cabot and was contacted by someone from the Admissions office. When I found out about JCU I knew it was where I wanted to be. The University had everything I was looking for: a diverse student body, professors with both academic and career-oriented experience, classes and clubs I was interested in, and so much more. Plus, who wouldn’t want to go to school in Rome, Italy?
You’re majoring in Political Science with minors in Communications and Creative Writing. Why did you choose these disciplines?
I originally started out as an International Affairs major, but then switched to Political Science, which suits me better. Political Science has more of a humanitarian approach, while International Affairs focuses on business and economics. Almost all of my professors had experience in their fields, which offered an in-depth look into the worlds we were studying. Most of my classes were comprised of students from different countries, and when we focused on current world events it was always interesting to listen to everyone’s opinions and perspectives. If there is one thing I have learned being a Political Science major at JCU, it is to listen, because you never know what new and exciting perspectives you may discover.
Communications has always been an interest of mine since it offers a look not only into the visual world of human beings but also into cultural interactions. Creative writing was a personal passion of mine, and I decided to do it for fun.
You are very involved in JCU’s student life (SG, Student Ambassador, theater, Community Service, you name it). What have you learned from these experiences?
I have always had a passion for community-based service and knew I could offer guidance and assistance to students at JCU. I not only became a part of prominent changes, but I also learned a great deal about the student body, faculty, and overall spirit of the University. It made me feel good to be able to help my fellow peers in any way I could. If you do something nice for someone, it enriches your life.
What would be your advice to someone who is considering going to college in a different country?
Be prepared to change for the better, to grow and discover things about yourself you never knew were there before, to venture outside your comfort zone, and learn to be patient with yourself. You will be on your own for the first time, and it is natural to feel scared, lonely, and confused. Just know that with these trials comes success, it may take a while, but you will climb the mountain we all had to climb as young adults venturing into the unknown for the first time. Ultimately, it’s okay to fail, this is how you will learn. Have fun with it, and enjoy your life because these are your best years.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan on taking a gap year to work and travel before I start my graduate studies. I also want to learn how to fly airplanes. I plan on continuing my education in political affairs. I would like to work in and out of the United States, so I am focusing on foreign service as a career goal. After being at JCU, I understand the significance of maintaining global relations between states and cultures. I would like to be a part of that.