Third Time’s the Charm: Global Studies and French Major Enjoys Time Abroad

Dayshalee Rosario Cruz travels abroad to the Dominican Republic

Dayshalee Rosario Cruz ’20, a double major in global studies and French, took her first steps outside of the U.S. during an LVC service trip to the Dominican Republic in spring 2019. The experience provided a new service opportunity, while raising awareness of the international travel options available through the College.

While in the Dominican Republic, Cruz volunteered with a second-grade class.

“Every day, we taught new vocabulary and reviewed the words from the previous class,” said Cruz. “I was surprised and overjoyed to see how much they were learning and how excited they were for the class.”

Not only did the students leave a mark in Cruz’s heart, but her fellow service members did, too. Surrounded by people of different backgrounds and cultures, Cruz connected with other students through their shared interests. 

“It was great to be in a place where everyone had a heart to serve, and everyone shared the same love for service as I do,” she said. “It is not often that I can say I spoke to someone else who is as passionate and excited about serving as I am.”

The trip to the Dominican Republic inspired Cruz to pursue additional international travel. She spent four weeks studying in Maastricht, Netherlands, this past summer through LVC’s short-term study abroad program. While there, Cruz attended an International Criminal Court class, visited the Peace Palace, and explored a new city or country every weekend. 

After a few weeks at home, Cruz departed again—this time for a fall semester abroad in Montpellier, France. Along with her classes, Cruz is volunteering at an art school, La Petite Academie, with classes for kids through adults. Cruz, an art minor, has taken at least one art class each semester and is enjoying honing her art skills while abroad.

While Cruz looks toward future career pursuits such as joining the Peace Corps or a nonprofit organization that focuses on global outreach, she wasn’t always sure of her career path. 

“The fall semester of my sophomore year as an open major I had an Introduction to Global Studies class that was the right fit for me,” she said. “I enjoyed learning about the various world issues and cultural differences.”

In recognition of her commitment to service, Cruz was awarded the Commonwealth Good Citizen Scholarship by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities this fall. The scholarship is given to students who have shown an extraordinary commitment to community service, and who have demonstrated creativity in shaping their volunteer activities.

“From a young age, I understood the value in helping others without expecting anything in return,” she reflected. “I serve not for the feeling it brings me, but for the impact it has. If I am provided with the ability and health to live my life well, it is my responsibility to help those who cannot provide for themselves.”

 

-- By Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant