Megan Delfin | Graduating class of 2021
Why did you choose to study IR at UBC and what did you enjoy most about it?
I chose to study IR at UBC because I love learning about the world around me. Growing up, I’d travel to different countries with my parents, where I got to learn about various peoples, cultures, and ways of living. In high school, my social studies teacher inspired me to apply my love for world history to current events.
These moments inspired me to pursue studying history, politics, and geography – and what better program offers this than IR! What I love most about IR is that it is interdisciplinary: I was encouraged to take various courses, from the geography of migration to international trade, from the sociology of development and underdevelopment to the politics of Southeast Asia: I gained so much valuable insight about the world around me through the IR program, and I am eager to use the knowledge and skills I learned onto my future endeavors!
What was one significant learning moment that happened during your degree?
One significant learning moment? When I learned that the world has a million issues that seem almost impossible to solve in this lifetime! Oftentimes during my degree, I got discouraged thinking about how so many conflicts and problems around the world are too deeply entrenched with historical and/or systematic issues. It made me wonder if I should still see our world in a positive light.
But as I continued studying, I realized that a crucial step towards finding solutions was to develop a strong sense of understanding towards the people around me. I learned a lot from the various perspectives of my professors and colleagues, and it helped me critically analyze and engage with issues like immigration, international trade, and climate change.
Tackling global issues isn’t a one-person job – it requires a team to collaborate and be open in understanding each other, which in turn helps us understand our world a little better. 🙂
What are you most looking forward to after graduation?
I want to share the knowledge and skills I learned from the IR program with future global leaders: I am currently enrolled in UBC’s BEd program where I hope to become a teacher! While some of my colleagues are heading into law, and some going into public administration, I’ve decided to pursue a career in education with my IR degree. I believe IR majors are critically needed in the education field to help educate future generations about the issues that our world currently faces and to help encourage them to take action in making our world a better place.
A piece of advice for current/incoming IR students?
Don’t feel discouraged about being ‘out of place’ or ‘not good enough’ when the IR program gets intense or overwhelming. Sometimes I felt like I was only learning things at a surface level since IR was interdisciplinary: I felt like I was just “stepping into” some courses while most of the other students in classes were advanced since they were actually majoring in that particular subject.
But that’s the great thing about IR – it strengthens your adaptability skills and allows you to take in various perspectives that you wouldn’t have even thought about! You’ll definitely learn something new every day! Embrace the challenges, enjoy the journey, and make the program yours to discover!
“Tackling global issues isn’t a one-person job – it requires a team to collaborate and be open in understanding each other, which in turn helps us understand our world a little better.”