January 30, 2012
Exposed to new perspectives - Katiria Ortiz’s Australian Experience
BY: CLAIRE SIMON
Katiria Ortiz wanted to spend her winter break on a unique study abroad trip focusing on terrorism in Southern Asia and the Pacific Islands. She was one of nine students who traveled to Australia with START for a two-week course on Australia’s counterterrorism policies.
Ortiz, a sophomore majoring in cell biology and molecular genetics doubled with criminology, decided to attend the START trip to gain a new understanding of counterterrorism. During the trip, she and fellow students met with top terrorism experts from the country to understand current policies and issues.
“My favorite lectures would have to be the ones dealing with transnational crime in southern Asia and the Pacific Islands,” Ortiz says.
When students were not learning about terrorism-focused policies, they were touring Sydney and learning about Australian culture. “I really enjoyed surfing! It was a fun, new experience,” Ortiz says. “The trip to the Wildlife Park was also really nice.”
Students were able to understand Australia more than in a terrorism lens. Other activities included playing with Kangaroos, touring the Sydney Opera House and a dinner cruise in the Sydney Harbour.
Looking back on the trip, Ortiz says, “This experience has strengthened my goals for the future by giving me a better understanding of Southern Asia and the Pacific Islands in concern to terrorism. As a person, it has given me a great desire to travel more and has allowed me to get a sense of different point of view.”
For more information on START education opportunities, please click here.