After graduating in May 2021 with a double major in French and International Studies and minors in Russian and Spanish, Kimberly Osbern was awarded the very prestigious Fulbright scholarship.
“It was a big shock, but also a huge relief,’ she said reflecting on the day she found out she’d received the scholarship. “It has been a goal of mine to visit Eastern Europe to see what I’ve been studying for the past four years in real life and to do more research.”
Earlier this month, Osbern moved to the Republic of Moldova where she will be conducting research until June 2022. With a deep interest in Russia and the former Soviet Union, Obsern’s project focuses on the reunification of Moldova and Romania and investigating if Moldovians’ opinions are connected to the language they speak.
In her first weeks living in Moldova, Obsern is staying with a host family, which happens to be a house conflicted on the very issue she is there to study, giving her the chance to dive in right away.
Additionally, Osbern is excited for the doors this opportunity will open for her.
“I want to be a foreign service officer, and this is a good first step,” she said. “I have the opportunity to learn about another culture and country and adapt to everything here.”
Obsern’s love for international studies was inspired by her high school band teacher who regularly discussed global politics during class. As her interest in international studies grew, Osbern found herself reading news sites in different languages, most often French, a language she now speaks fluently. The more she learned, the more she realized her love for global politics.
“I want my career to make a positive impact on the world,” she said. “Diplomacy is a really good way to do that. No matter what level you work at, you are able to help people understand each other and avoid misunderstandings across cultural lines.”