Public Engagement

  • Student

    Francisca Sanhueza

    "Food is the driving force of my life,” says Francisca Sanhueza, a Food Studies major. She worked for a fruit export company and as a food stylist in her native Chile and graduated from culinary school, but she had never attended college before entering the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students at The New School.

    “I didn’t know what a major was or what a thesis was,” she said. “But I was able to transfer credits from culinary school for courses like nutrition and risk prevention. So many credits transferred that I’ll finish in two years instead of four. I actually turned down the opportunity to earn credit for speaking Spanish, because I wanted to take more classes."

    Francisca chose The New School because it allowed her to take courses in different subjects and different divisions. “I thought I would take food studies and photography courses, to develop my food styling business. But the courses I took here expanded my knowledge of the politics of food, and that led me to a totally different career path focused on urban agriculture and food policy—using food as a vehicle for social justice. ”

    Francisca met a similarly motivated Parsons student in one of her classes. “We really hit it off. I told her about my thesis, and we decided to collaborate on a digital project that brings together her design skills and my food knowledge.”

    “I think a lot of students fear being too old for school,” she said. “The New School makes you forget about that. You could be the oldest in your class, but you’re never made to feel out of place. You’re not here to hang out. You’re here because you’re driven. And you find new paths for your future. I feel that through your courses and experience, you gain confidence to do the things you want to do when you’re done with school.”