How getting involved on campus led to discovering a love for radio: Gizel Gedik

Gizel Gedik

Gizel Gedik UBC IR


✔ Pronouns: She/Her


📕 Specialization: 3rd year, History + International Relations double major


🏡 Home is: I was born in Istanbul, Turkey and raised in Dubai, UAE. I was later fortunate enough to attend high school in New York, USA, before re-locating to Vancouver for UBC.

Despite never residing in Turkey at a mature age, I had the opportunity to have my exchange semester at Koç University in Istanbul. During this time I got to learn more about Turkish culture and history. I found my time there to be eye-opening. It was the first time I felt that I could belong in this place, and have plans on returning in the future.



🌎 Why did you decide to major in IR? 

The interdisciplinary nature of the program was the selling point for me. As someone who has struggled to narrow down her interests, being able to take a variety of courses across departments while being part of the IR community was quite enticing.


🌎 What’s one thing that you’ve done as a student at UBC that stands out to you?

Everything I have been involved with on campus outside of my studies: IRSA Podcast Producer, Editor at JIA, Global Ambassador for Go Global, CiTR Volunteer, Sprouts Volunteer, Go Global Semester Abroad, Student Leadership Conference Volunteer, AMS First Week Volunteer, Climate Justice UBC Volunteer.

While trying out a range of different activities available to me on campus, I ended up stumbling across CiTR + Discorder. This allowed me to discover my interest for radio, and I am currently a part of the IRSA podcast team, creating the Global Get Down podcast with bi-weekly episodes on international affairs related topics with the insights of experts and involved community members.

While abroad, I also got to host 2 other radio shows and learned more about programming. Without initially setting out to get involved in programming, I found myself in a position I thoroughly enjoyed, and have built a portfolio with multiple shows. I would not have been able to embark on these projects without exploring opportunities on campus.


🌎 Favourite IR class?

HIST 391 Human Rights in World History with John Roosa!

If there is one history course that every student should take, it’s History 391 with John Roosa. The course looks into human rights throughout world history, making an effort to incorporate more than just the Global North. Not only are the topics covered exciting, since they are too often overlooked, but the professor dresses up as guest lecturers like John Locke!


🌎 You started the program in September 2020. How have you adjusted to virtual learning, and any tips you might share?

I applied to positions with student associations and clubs on campus at the start of the year, after realizing that connecting with people in large courses was proving to be difficult. This has been key for me. Not only have I been able to build my resume and partake in implementing new programs, but I got to be a part of environments and adjust accordingly as new challenges came up, even simple ones like my zoom not working!


🌎 What’s one thing you’d like to do before graduating from UBC?

Polar Bear Swim It has always looked so fun, but I was reluctant of the cold water. I feel that after 3 years in Canada, I am finally ready to take on the challenge.


🌎 Share a piece of advice for future IR majors. 

Be a part of your community. It is often intimidating to partake in events or join an organization but it pays off. Not only do you get to develop your skills but you meet like-minded people, and work on projects that inspire you. Start of small and be open to more, you might discover a love for radio programming!


More IR Student Stories here