Habari! That is Kiswahili for hello! I am so happy to introduce myself to you. My name is Christine Germann and I am a student at Saint Mary’s College, in Notre Dame, Indiana. I am unlike the majority of the Saint Mary’s Belles with whom I attend class, in that I am 47 years old and have decided to actively pursue a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with an International Development concentration and a minor in Justice Education. This educational journey started purely as a calling to make a difference in the world. My focus has been directed toward the economically and socially challenged regions of our world. Specifically, Africa is where I have felt drawn to become involved. It is my goal to seek out a career where I can support human rights, education, and empowerment globally through development initiatives.
I have found that my age has been advantageous for me as a student. I am thoroughly enjoying learning and am successfully achieving my goals through hard work and dedication. Though it is difficult to work full time and go to college full time, I am finding every day challenging yet rewarding. As a student, I have been studying French, which is spoken in many areas of West and Central Africa. And now, the FEA scholarship has provided me an opportunity to study Swahili in Iringa, Tanzania. The study abroad semester that I will be attending starting in January, 2015, will incorporate language training in Kiswahili as well as multiple courses on development issues. The program includes cultural immersion and a four week, hands on experience with a local NGO in a rural area of Tanzania. Experiences like this will help me develop the skills that I will need to actively participate in the field of development and global cooperation in the future.

Journal entries by Christine