International & Domestic Programs Peer Mentors

Sarah Burch

Study Abroad Program: SIT Study Abroad Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding, Fall 2019

Major: International Relations

Class Year: Spring 2022

Why Did I Study Abroad? From my first year at Pomona, I was interested in studying conflict and militarism, as well as in understanding violence as a globally interconnected in a post-colonial world. The SIT Rwanda program was an unmissable opportunity to immerse myself in a completely different context, and it was an honor to get to experience the post-conflict political and social landscape up close, as well as be welcomed to Kigali by my lovely host family. Study abroad, for me, was a way to both put my time at Pomona into perspective as well as to go beyond the traditional classroom pedagogical structure.

Specific Topics of Interest: Homestay, mental health abroad, religious identity abroad, internships abroad

On-Campus Activities: Students for Justice in Palestine, On the Loose

Favorite place in Claremont: Some Crust Bakery

Spring 2022 Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 - 11 a.m.

Martin Fuchs

Study Abroad Program: CIEE Arts and Sciences Program in Seoul, Korea, Fall 2021 and IES Abroad European Union, Spring 2020

Major: Economics

Class Year: Spring 2022

Why Did I Study Abroad? I grew up moving between Croatia in Europe and New Mexico in America. I traveled a lot between these two continents and all this traveling has only made me realize how little of the world I have actually seen. Thankfully, Pomona has incredible international and domestic programs where I could in greater detail explore the cultures of other countries. Studying abroad is also so much different from being a tourist somewhere because while studying abroad you have enough time to properly explore a location, its history, its people, its culture. This is why I chose to study abroad twice. The first time I explored what it was like to live in an unknown European country. The second time I ventured even further from my comfort zone in Korea with a 17-hour time difference from home. I credit my study abroad experiences for a lot of my own growth and I recommend it to as many people as possible to grow, broaden their horizons, and see more of the world.

Specific Topics of Interest: Housing abroad (dorm), local engagement abroad, finances/budgeting abroad, and academics abroad (university courses)

Favorite place at Pomona: The foundation at Mason

Spring 2022 Hours: Fridays, 1 - 5 p.m.

Pipi Gao

Study Abroad Program: Middlebury School in France: Paris, Spring 2020

Majors:  Math and Media Studies

Class Year: Spring 2022

Why Did I Study Abroad? As an international student from Beijing, China, I enjoy being at Pomona as an abroad experience already. Exploring life in a new country has been a challenging and rewarding journey. I always wanted to learn a third language, so I started with French 001 in freshman year and took five consecutive semesters of French. The experience was very different from what I had when learning English at a young age. Although my reading and writing improved quickly through those courses, before I spoke each sentence at Oldenborg or in class, I had to write it down in mind first and then read it out. I believe that language immersion is the best way to improve my listening and speaking skills. Therefore, I chose Middlebury’s program because it has a language pledge that requires students to speak only the host language for the program’s duration! I was also interested in the French New Wave in film history, so I wanted to explore that topic in the cultural context where it originated.

Specific Topics of Interest: STEM courses abroad (in host language), homestay, language immersion, international students studying abroad, double major planning

On-Campus Activities: Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company, Math mentor

Favorite place at Pomona: Estella Second Floor

Spring 2022 Hours: Mondays, 9 - 11 a.m. and Fridays, 3 - 5 p.m.

Kate Immergluck

Study Abroad Program: Sarah Lawrence College in Havana, Fall 2019

Major: PPA Biology

Class year: Spring 2022

Why did I study abroad: As a pre-health student at Pomona, I was really interested in the opportunity to explore interests outside of my career path. This can be challenging with pre-health requirements on top of major requirements. I felt that study abroad offered a chance to pull me away from the career-oriented goals and activities at Pomona, and allowed me to open up to broader spectrum of experiences. I also had the opportunity to spend time in a Spanish speaking country previously (Peru) and knew I wanted to go somewhere where I would have to rely on and expand my language skills. I got the chance to take art and literature classes in Havana, which turned out to be some of the most enriching courses of my college career.

Specific Topics of Interestlanguage immersion, pre-health abroad, study abroad and career goals

Favorite place at PomonaBack corner of the lacrosse field at sunset

Spring 2022 Hours: Mondays, 2 - 4 p.m. and Wednesdays, 9 - 11 a.m.

Ashley Kyelem

Study Abroad Program: CIEE Arts and Sciences Program in Seoul, Korea, Fall 2021

Major: Economics

Class Year: Spring 2022

Why Did I Study Abroad? I knew I wanted to study abroad even prior to coming to Pomona. I wanted to study abroad for the common reasons – wanting to learn a new language, learn about another culture, and grow as a person. To me, studying abroad is one of the few - if not only - opportunities you have in a lifetime to immerse yourself in a different culture for an extended period of time. Studying abroad was a chance for me to get out of my comfort zone and explore what the world has to offer outside of the Claremont bubble. In doing so, I knew that my time abroad would help me bridge the gap between what I’m learning in the classroom and how I can use that same knowledge around the world. By specifically going to South Korea, it was a chance for me to contextualize the role of the West outside of the West, providing me a new perspective and better understanding of the world.

Specific Topics of Interest: Racial/Ethnic identity abroad, language immersion, budgeting abroad

On-Campus Activities: Pomona College Mock Trials

Favorite place at Pomona: Marston Quad

Spring 2022 Hours: Fridays 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.

Emily Lunger

Study Abroad Program: CIEE Language and Culture Program in Dakar, Senegal, Spring 2020

Majors: French, Anthropology

Class Year: Spring 2022

Why did I study Abroad? I chose to study abroad because I think having new experiences is one of the best ways to learn. Studying in Senegal interested me because I’m a French major and they speak French there, as well as some of the background research I did on Senegal that made me fall in love with it there. ‘Teranga’ is a word in Wolof, a Senegalese language, meaning ‘hospitality and generosity,’ and that basically sums up my time there. I got to speak French and live with an amazing host family. I would 100% go back and do it again if I could.

Specific Topics of Interest: Language immersion, homestays, non-traditional study abroad destination

On-Campus Activities: Music, OA leader, Sponsor

Favorite spot in Claremont/on-campus: I love the Hive!

Spring 2022 Hours: Tuesdays, 1 - 2:30 p.m. and Wednesdays, 2:30 - 5 p.m.