This week we had the opportunity to interview and will share the story of Antonia Velez by her own words. She is an International Studies and Journalism major from Medellin, Colombia. Her newfound hobby is to hike and her favorite place to go here in Colorado is St. Mary’s glacier.
“I grew up with my parents incentivizing me to study in the United States. My mom and her brother both went to DU, so during one of our family ski trips we visited the campus and I thought it was beautiful. Colombia is an amazing country, but it was always my dream to study in America and I enjoyed the idea of being in the same place my mom had been years before.
The International Studies program here is incredible, and after researching more about University of Denver I decided it was the place for me. Even though I miss my parents so much, and it’s hard to go back home at the moment, I am lucky to be able to go to school at such a wonderful place.
I think it can be a little bit scary at first, when you decide to leave your home and everything you know behind. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in life is that leaving your comfort zone is what makes life worth it. You learn so much through the good and the bad moments, especially when you leave your country. Even though I have had less than remarkable experiences in the US, my peers and the faculty at DU is so welcoming and genuinely want to learn more about your heritage and your culture.
That makes being international student so much more fascinating, because most people want to know what it’s like to live in your country, as much as you want to know what it is like to live in the US. It’s very cool to be able to stand up for your people and heritage. Especially when you’re in class and the place you are from comes up. You are able to be an advocate for your culture and that is why diversity is so valuable.”