This week, I talked to my good friend, Rachel Kunker, about her experiences about being an Intercultural Studies (ICS) major at Nyack College. This is what she said.
Q: Why did you choose to be an ICS major?
A: I chose to be an ICS major because I really want to serve God with my life. As a freshman, I did not know what area to focus in specifically and knew I wanted to be a missionary. Studying ICS seemed the best option for me to be able to get a good overall idea of missions. Since I love other cultures, it was very easy for me to stay in ICS and actively engage in the courses offered.
Q: What year are you and what do you hope to do with your major?
A: I am a senior. I am hoping that my major has equipped me to assist me in any job I take. I am still unsure what profession I want exactly, but I know that my degree in ICS has equipped me to work in a world full of many different cultures. I now understand people better. I would love to work either overseas or in diverse cities in America, applying what I know both about other cultures and other religions.
Q: What is one theme you have learned so far in your ICS classes that has really impacted you?
A: One of the most major lessons I have learned so far in my ICS classes is the importance of flexibility. Through classes focusing on the importance of adjusting between cultures or working with people from different backgrounds, I have begun to see the importance of flexibility as a skill.
Q: Is there anything in your major that has surprised you?
A: I was surprised when I learned about the way different people think. All cultures have different worldviews which cause them to hold different mindsets, beliefs, and everyday behaviors. I have learned the importance of keeping an open mind, understanding that holding up three fingers does not universally mean the number three. I have learned to think critically, to avoid fickle judgments, and to really begin to understand the mind and heart of those around me.
Q: How does your major impact your daily life?
A: My major impacts my daily life because it involved people and digging into Scripture. I have learned what it means to work with people who are different form me, to include everyone in group decisions. I have learned what it means to defend the faith, to learn about other religions and be able to give a Christian response to the opposite truth claims. All-in-all, ICS has prepared me to be a better person, understanding others’ perspectives, learning what it means to work with people who are different from myself, work in a cross-cultural environment, and actively engage Scripture.