Nadia Raynes '13 and Jason Kowalski '13 start ILR's "Citizenship, Race and Class in Twentieth-Century America" course in January with the benefit of a European perspective.
They were among eight undergraduates from across the nation who participated in the Fulbright Commission Summer Institute program on citizenship.
The five-week academic and cultural experience based at The Crucible Centre of Excellence in Education in Human Rights, Social Justice and Citizenship at Roehampton University in London.
Exploring citizenship issues such as patriotism and identity, security and terror, exclusion and inclusion, and sustainability, students also visited the parliaments of England, Scotland and the European Union and many other sites.
"More than anything, I think my curriculum challenged my current views and exposed me to a lot of issues going on around the world, which made me want to become a more active citizen of the world," Raynes said in an interview.
"My ILR education prepared me to excel at the international level. In just my first year in ILR, I'd learn a great deal about how to complete assignments successfully, become a better writer, and an effective reader, which all translated well into my coursework at Roehampton University," she said.
Kowalski also said his freshman year helped prepare him for the Fulbright program.
"The biggest take away from my ILR education has been the emphasis on perspectives. As ILR is a school originally meant to groom leaders for the labor world, there is special weight on being able to empathize and understand where other parties are coming from," he said.
"The diversity at Cornell helped me prepare for the different culture and way of life abroad. Similarly, while time management was difficult at times on this trip, my involvement in a lot of different clubs and organizations at Cornell helped prepare me," Kowalski said in an interview.
Volunteering in London schools and interacting with teens there was part of the Fulbright program.
"It was eye-opening to hear their unbiased thoughts and opinions about citizenship and life in general," Kowalski said.