Sergio Rebeles, the first student to graduate with a Global Studies minor in European Studies, received his B.S. in Biology in June.
One of Sergio's earliest impetuses towards a global focus for his education was becoming aware of the Sinjar massacre of Yazidis in northern Iraq in 2014. At Stanford, Sergio's native Spanish-speaking abilities led him to volunteer as a medical Spanish Interpreter at free clinics at Stanford and in San Jose. This solidified his desire to attend medical school in the future.
Sergio's interest in international affairs led him to study abroad with Stanford's Bing Overseas Studies Program in Madrid and Paris. After considering both the French and International Relations minors, Sergio ultimately chose the European Studies minor because of its "flexibility and interdisciplinary/comparative focus." Sergio's favorite class of those specifically taken for the minor was History of the International System (INTNLREL 102), taught by Norman Naimark.
In Madrid, Sergio interned at a Catholic school where he gave English lessons to first graders. In France he enjoyed a French art history class that included trips to the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. While abroad he also "treasured the time I spent with my host family, which included two young boys, and thus very stimulating dinners."
Sergio is confident that studying both science and the humanities at Stanford helped to make him a well-rounded graduate. "There’s certainly a difference in personality type between the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sciences, and it was refreshing to experience both during my time on the Farm. Believe it or not, I would even describe it as cathartic to work on an essay between bouts of memorizing biochemical pathways or practicing genetic crosses."
Sergio's one regret is that, because the minor program was new, he was not able to take the introductory courses (Global 101 and International Relations 122) before his study abroad, and he found that what he learned in them would have been useful in framing his European experience. In planning his studies, Sergio appreciated the guidance of advisors Ken Scheve, director of The Europe Center (TEC), and Christophe Crombez.
Sergio's immediate plans include studying for the MCAT and working for two years as a high school math teacher in Miami for Teach For America. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!
Learn more about the Global Studies Minor with a Specialization in European Studies.