Stephanie Woo

About

Resource Specialization Global Nutrition, Food Security & Environmental Sustainability
Region Specialization Europe
International Experience(s) LFS302b global seminar on Impact Evaluation Analytics in Bogor, Indonesia; academic exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark
Hometown Burnaby, BC, Canada
"The best thing about [GRS] is the given systems approach to our degree which leads us to have an interdisciplinary overview of issues and lets me be able to combine all my interests and passions through this lens. I love that every student is passionate about wanting to make a social change and that we are able to help drive one another through discussions and coincided support."

Why did you choose the GRS specialization that you did?

I have always had an interest in food, health, and nutrition and I wanted to maximize what I would be learning in university to a place where I could learn how to apply it in a way to make a difference for a community. It wasn’t until I was at UBC where I learned about food security and what the food system entails. I love that GRS allows us to be able to take an interdisciplinary approach in our degree and take courses that are inherently interconnected. In being able to take courses on international nutrition and environment and sustainability, I can see the overlap through these and learn about the impacts of climate change on food security and nutrition.

What was your international experience and what did you learn from it?

I took part in LFS302b global seminar on Impact Evaluation Analytics in Bogor, Indonesia. This experience was the first time I was able to apply what I was learning in the classroom directly into the field. I worked alongside an interdisciplinary group and supportive professors through looking at the community-level healthcare system and its impacts from a community empowerment initiative called ‘Posdaya’. This experience showed me what it is like to immerse myself in a completely different culture and appreciate the similarities and differences. I was able to learn from uncertainty throughout our project evaluations that patience is a virtue because you can never expect or predict any outcome and you must go into these field studies with the willingness to learn from the locals and experts.

Currently, I am more than halfway through my academic exchange in Copenhagen, Denmark. I started off my exchange by challenging myself with taking the pre-semester Danish language course as a way to ease into moving into a new city, meet new people, and learn the local language as an easier way to adapt. Being able to do an exchange here allowed me to take part in a masters-level course, as well as take a course that is specific and unique to Denmark and its views and history on sustainability.

By doing an international experience, you’re able to immerse yourself in that country’s culture and completely adapt to your surroundings and create your own network of people. They have been more than I could have ever expected and a vast learning experience for me in growing personally and academically. It has allowed me to see what prevalent issues are happening from a first point of view and be able to compare to what approaches are taken back home.