Ben Horvath | Mar. 27, 2014 | Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters
Notre Dame senior Margaret Pickard understands the challenges of integrating into a culture different from her own. The sociology and Japanese double major studied abroad last year in Nagoya, Japan, where she gained a fresh perspective on the difficulties of being a college student in a foreign setting.
“It made me realize that college itself is a very interesting point in life because you aren’t sure who you are yet, and when you study abroad, you add cultural differences on top of that,” she says. “It made me much more aware of the struggles international students have to go through here at Notre Dame.”
Pickard’s experience generated an idea for her senior thesis project. Bridging her interest in East Asian culture with her sociology major, she decided to research the integration process of East Asian students on the Notre Dame campus.
“My thesis studies the kinds of values students hold, how those values may be shaped by their Asian ethnicity, and how that affects their integration into a Western university,” she says.