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, and gave me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. 

World Regional Geography was a course that, in my opinion, required critical thinking. I took this class during the Summer Session of 2015 and I must admit that I thought it would be a class that would only require that I learn and memorize diverse geographical regions and the structures of continents and oceans. I was greatly surprised when I realized this course discussed how the location of some countries determine 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 the conflict in Middle East and the ideas of independence inside of countries such as modern-day Spain, Italy and Canada. Even the drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia were discussed in class. We were able to reason, make judgements, 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 totally capable of creating a unique thought and opinion. I personally learned a great deal of new information which I will definitely apply in my professional life.

I just finished a course called Introduction to Experience Design and Creativity that I feel will become a key to my future success. We were challenged to create an experience as innovative, entertaining and educational as possible. 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 of the most popular spoken languages in the world that are largely used in business and tourism: French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. After that, I decided how the house would look like, 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 has broadened my expectations about the impact of experiential learning. This class was very challenging as a native Spanish speaker at first because it represented the first time I have spoken to an all-native English speaker’s audience.

In conclusion, universities can give you the keys to be a successful professional, so take advantage of those opportunities when you can. Be responsible, be honest, contribute to society, and share your knowledge: that 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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