Ingrid Valladares

Attending:University of Maryland, College Park
Studying in Japan
"Hello" in your host country's language: こんにちは (kon'nichiwa)
Home Institution (your U.S. University/College): University of Maryland, College Park
Expected graduation year: 2022
Destination city & country: Kyoto, Japan
Program provider: Kyoto University
Major/minor: Criminal Justice / International Development and Conflict Management
Demographics: First-Generation College Student, Transfer Student, Hispanic, Immigrant, LGBTQ+
Future career aspirations: Upon graduation, I plan to apply to the Peace Corps so participating in this study abroad program would help me gain valuable experience living abroad in preparation for my service. Afterwards I intend to pursue a graduate degree in International Development with a focus on climate change and environmental sustainability. Studying abroad would provide valuable foreign cultural experience in a country that is very different from what I am used to. This program would also allow me to pursue my academic interest in the global environment as well as my personal interest in the Japanese language, which would benefit my long-term professional goals in pursuing a career with the USAID Foreign Service.
Top 3 goals for your time abroad: One of my goals for my time abroad is to improve my Japanese language skills. But more than that, I hope to deepen my appreciation for different cultures and further my desire to travel and connect with people who I might not otherwise have had the chance to meet. This is why my second goal is to learn how to better communicate and connect with people from different backgrounds than my own. During my time abroad, I am interested in volunteering with a non-profit that serves at risk and disadvantaged social groups. This would allow me to engage with Kyoto’s local population and have meaningful interactions as well as give back to those most in need. My last goal is to work towards building lasting bonds, regardless of cultural differences and language barriers, with those I meet while abroad.

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