Elizabeth Becker graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in 2001. She decided to take a Peace Studies class when a friend suggested she take something a bit “unconventional”. Elizabeth instantly fell in love with the class and decided to pursue a Peace Studies major. “Peace Studies had everything I was looking for: a creative approach to understanding history, global issues, conflict and resolution, and taught me the importance of accepting my responsibility as a citizen of a world community.”
While studying during her undergraduate years, Elizabeth spent much of her time learning all over the world. She studied abroad in France, China, and London. She also interned at Common Hope, a non-profit organization providing care to impoverished families in Guatemala. After working in the Saint Paul office for Common Hope, Elizabeth traveled to Guatemala to experience first hand the work Common Hope was doing in Guatemala. “These experiences abroad not only allowed me to interact with amazing people and see the world in its vastness and complexity, but taught me about myself and the importance of my education and influence in this world.”
Studying abroad led Elizabeth to pursue the position she in now, teaching English to junior high school students in Nagasaki, Japan for the Japan Exchange in Teaching (JET) Program. Elizabeth has learned much about Asian culture and lifestyles. Also, being in the city of the second atomic bomb has allowed her to see the consequences of our actions first-hand.
Elizabeth says her decision to become a Peace Studies major was “the most rewarding decision I ever made as a student.” She greatly values the flexibility of the program because it allowed her to travel and learn from other disciplines and the relationships she developed with her professors were invaluable to her. She feels the program is adaptable to many personalities and says, “If you’re someone who’s looking for a creative challenge, a classroom of diverse individuals, an embracing and devoted faculty, and a sense of adventure…well then I’d say give it a go.”