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Alex Werder

Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Political Science
Study Abroad:
China (Beijing and Harbin Extended Term)
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In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Learning a new language helps us think in new way.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
3 trimesters of a language is one of only a few graduation requirements that we have at K. But there is no reason why requirements should not also push us outside of our comfort zone. For anyone that has never studied an East Asian language, Chinese is a challenge, no doubt about it. But what keeps me coming back is the sense of accomplishment and excitement as my language level improved to the point where I lived for a full year in China. If you asked me 3 years ago if that would’ve been my story, I would have told you that you were nuts!

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
When you decide what language to study at K, keep study abroad in mind. After you leave K, the chances to pick up and live abroad for 3, 6, or 9 months at a time are next to none. Take this once in a lifetime chance to explore a part of the world that you might not have the guts to otherwise on the adventure of a lifetime that is study abroad.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and I am planning on going into either law or politics. Both fields will undoubtedly be engaging with China in the foreseeable future and I am not only studying a language I am interested in, but getting a leg up on others in my field.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
There is no other time in life that people want to help you as much as they do when you are a college student and no community that you will ever be a part of for the rest of your life will be solely designed to support you on your path to success. Don’t let it go to waste!

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My sophomore seminar Human Rights and International Law has absolutely been my favorite class at K. This class ignited my interest in the law and was an opportunity to see my political interests channeled into a meaningful field of study.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is going to take an in-depth look at the American Constitution and the American people’s relationship to our founding document. Founding to Floundering: How Constitution Worship Brought the American Political System to the Brink.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
Pending successful completion of the LSAT, probably heading off to law school!

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