Friday, May 6, 2016

My Favorite Courses

By: Jacqueline Zarzoza
Student Ambassador, University of Indianapolis

Choosing only one course as my favorite is an impossible task for me, so I narrowed it down to two. These courses that I have taken at the University of Indianapolis are some of my favorites because they encouraged me to think and discuss new ideas, helped me feel more confident in my English speaking abilities, and gave me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. 

Here are what my two favorite courses have been so far:

World Regional Geography 
This was a course that, in my opinion, required critical thinking. I took this class during the summer session of 2015 and I must admit I thought it would be a class where I would only need to memorize geographical regions, continents, and oceans. I was surprised when the course discussed how the location of some countries determines their economic activities and how some governments would take advantage of their country’s resources and how others must rely on war.

This combination of politics, economics, and history was an absolute delight. There were a great number of class discussions about current conflicts in the Middle East and the ideas of independence in countries like modern-day Spain, Italy, and Canada. We even discussed drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia. We were able to reason, make judgments, agree and disagree, and give our point of view based on evidence. We observed and analyzed different situations and presented them to the class. The professor encouraged our active participation, which made us all feel recognized and capable of having an opinion. I personally learned a great deal of new information in this course which I can definitely apply to my professional life.

Introduction to Experience Design and Creativity
I just finished this course and feel will become key to my future success. In this class, we were challenged to create an experience that was innovative, entertaining, and educational. My project started as an idea of a house where anyone could go to learn languages and be entertained. I wanted to have different rooms representing different countries and languages. I chose five popular spoken languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Then, I designed the look and feel of the house, how the rooms would be distributed, who would be in charge of each room, and more.

This project made me feel more encouraged and comfortable to speak in front of an audience and broadened my expectations about the impact of experiential learning. This class was very challenging as a native Spanish speaker at first because it was my first time to speak in English to a native audience.

In conclusion, your education can give you the keys to be a successful professional, so take advantage of the opportunities you have while in school. Be responsible, be honest, contribute to society, and share your knowledge; it is all you need to succeed.

Jacqueline Zarzoza, originally from Lima, Peru, is currently pursuing a degree in Liberal Studies at the University of Indianapolis, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is expected to graduate in May 2016. 

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