By: Jatnna Garcia
InteRDom Caribbean Summer 2011 Alumnus
Growing up in the Dominican Republic was a great experience. There are so many things to love about this tiny island, from its weather to its people. Through the different multicultural activities at school, I met people from all over the world with all sorts of races, religions, and cultures. I became highly interested in foreign languages, the way people from different nations interacted, and how people with different cultural backgrounds got along. I knew ever since elementary school that I wanted to get to know many cultures, further interact with people from around the world, and learn more about different nations, therefore, international relations seemed like the best career choice for me. Eventually, I figured that it was important for me to study in another country, in order to better understand how one’s culture, religion, native language and so on could affect the way one formed relations with different people. This is what mostly influenced my decision to finish high school in the US and go on to college in the same country. Besides, I realized it would be a great way to get some firsthand experience on international relations. Also, few to no Dominican colleges offered the program, so the best decision seemed to be to leave the country.
Coming back to the Dominican Republic to work for a local NGO that deals with International Relations so closely as does the Dominican Council of International Relations (CDRI), under the initiative of FUNGLODE, was a marvelous experience. It feels great to be able to, through my chosen career path, give back to the land in which I grew up. Since I left, I always came back for vacations, but none had been as long and beneficial as this one. I got to see and be a part of a lot of changes taking place in regards to education in the country, one being in the area of international relations itself. Careers in diplomacy and international relations are now offered in two local universities (UNICARIBE & UCSD), and more programs, including masters and graduate programs are being drafted. Lastly, I noticed that more and more people are interested in international relations here in the Dominican Republic, and that the country is getting more and more involved in international affairs. These discoveries fill my heart with joy because, although there’s still a long way to go, Dominican Republic, in comparison with other countries in the Region, keeps an accelerated pace in terms of development, in accordance to the demands of a globalized planet.
The blog also provides useful information for students and inspires lively debate and increased interest in exchange and the development of Hispaniola.