Education Without Boundaries
Andrea Sosa began her college search by looking at all different kinds of institutions, all over the place. “I didn’t know exactly what kind of school I wanted,” she admits. The one thing she knew for certain was that she wanted to leave her native Mexico and earn her degree in the United States. Her high school guidance counselor insisted that she apply to Goucher because she had read The Colleges That Change Lives and thought it would be the “perfect fit” for Sosa. Sosa looked into the college and applied.
“When it came down to decision making, Goucher really stood out, and I realized it was a school I really wanted to go to. It seemed to embody everything that I wanted,” she says. “I really liked its philosophy of having an international focus and transcending boundaries. Being an international student and wanting to study international relations, I was really drawn to Goucher.”
Sosa says she thinks Goucher does a good job of accommodating international students, but she still gets homesick and misses her family, friends, and real Mexican food — she jokes that the taquería in the Pearlstone Student Center simply “doesn’t cut it!”
However, in many ways Sosa is helping to bring Mexico to campus in her own affable manner.
“I feel like a lot of people here really don’t know what’s going on in Mexico — a country that borders the United States!” she says. “When people find out that I’m from Mexico, they want to learn about my culture.” Sosa’s response is to start an open conversation about her country, and, she adds, “I’ve made Mexican food for people plenty of times.”
When Sosa is not busy being an informal emissary from Mexico, she acts as an official ambassador for Goucher. As a student ambassador, she gives campus tours, hosts overnight guests, and helps the Office of Admissions with special events — work Sosa relishes. “It’s really exciting because I get to see prospective students and tell them how great Goucher is,” she says.
Sosa also represents Goucher by serving as the co-president of the college’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute campus network, a nationwide initiative that engages young people in progressive activism to empower them as leaders and promote their ideas for change. Next year she will be the regional coordinator for the organization. She was voted in as the at-large representative for the Class of 2016 Council. Additionally, she is a tutor for Goucher’s Futuro Latino Learning Center, which provides dozens of Latinos from Baltimore County with free ESL courses, computer training, job search assistance, and other services.
Sosa has also started a model United Nations club at Goucher that will begin competing on other campuses next semester, including Harvard. This particular interest dovetails nicely with the international relation major’s career goals. “Right now I’m really interested in diplomacy and Mexico/U.S. relations. I’m also very interested in the United Nations,” Sosa says. “There are different courses of careers I could take with international relations.”
And she feels confident that the education she is receiving at Goucher will help prepare her professionally. When Sosa speaks with her twin sister, who goes to a university in Mexico, she says, “We talk about how we are doing, and it’s totally different. I feel like I’m definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, learning new things, engaging in different activities than I normally would do. … It’s just a really great place to be.”