“A lot of schools say they want you to experience real life as part of their program, but at The New School, there’s a special effort to make that happen,” says Melissa Bukuru. “When I wanted to go to South Korea to participate in the Global Model UN, my advisor said, ‘Go. This is so exciting. We’ll figure out a way to give you academic credit.’”
After two years at Princeton, Bukuru transferred to The New School because she was interested in attending a school "founded on the ideals that I try to follow in my own life." Although she was drawn to political science, she was also interested in literature, writing, and film. "I wanted to combine these topics in a program I designed myself," she says. Bukuru began her exploration by taking a class with Alexandra Delano, whose research focuses on politics, international relations, and migration. Delano, who later became Bukuru's advisor, recommended that she consider Global Studies as a major. "I knew I had made the right decision," she says, "when I took DisOrder and InJustice, which Jonathan Bach teaches from a historical perspective and with an interdisciplinary approach."
As part of her program, Bukuru interned for the Council on Foreign Relations in South Africa, working on migration issues with John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria. While there, she helped manage Nigeria Security Tracker, an online interactive map showing the frequency, location, and magnitude of violent acts in Nigeria, and edited Internet articles. Her blog post about KONY 2012, the viral video about the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his child soldiers, was later featured on CNN.
"I have loved being here," says Bukuru, who has just completed her BA in Global Studies. "Professors work in the field and share their expertise by bringing real-life case studies and projects into the classroom."