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Name: Maria T. Khan

Major: International Studies

Hometown: San Fernando Valley, CA

1. What has been your most rewarding college experience?

The most rewarding college experience would have to be attending Semester at Sea, a multi-country study abroad program. While living on the Atlantic Ocean and experiencing many cultures were incredible, the experience was rewarding simply because it happened. When I began researching studying abroad seriously, I didn’t fully believe that I could. There was a little voice inside (and innumerable voices of friends and mentors) that kept pushing me forward. After a year of late nights and mental breakdowns, I was able to make the seemingly unattainable, real. My Semester at Sea experience will forever testify that I am capable.

2. What was the last book you read? What impact did it have on you?

The last book I read was The Promise of a Pencil where Adam Braun takes the readers on his journey to create one of the most successful social entrepreneurship organizations of today. The beauty in the book is that it is raw. Braun is honest to readers about his big and small mistakes. My biggest takeaway was the idea that, to push yourself towards a greater outcome, you first need to pursue an attainable and personal goal. In other words, Braun did not set out to establish 344 schools but to create a learning space for the one child who touched his heart while he was traveling. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “The single most powerful element of youth is that you don’t have the life experiences to know what can’t be done.”

3. What is your favorite film?

My favorite film definitely depends on my mood. It’s a tossup between Tangled, About Time, Shutter’s Island, Pitch Perfect and Titanic… I actually don’t watch a lot of movies but I can appreciate a good storyline. Although, my favorite director is definitely James Cameron for his ingenious creativity and 3-year-old curiosity to do extensive film research. Check out his TED talk if you’re as much of a nerd as I am: https://www.ted.com/talks/james_cameron_before_avatar_a_curious_boy?lang…

4. If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ice cream without a question. The flavors are endless; it can be found in any country, and it is guaranteed to make you smile.

5. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?

During my college career, I have been blessed enough to experience a number of countries and cities across the globe, but my favorite place is easy. Last winter, I had the opportunity to travel to Karachi, Pakistan; the city I was born in. The truth is that it was not about the place at all but about the extended family I had the chance to meet, including my lovely grandma. 

Hello! My name is Shary. I'm a student at UC Irvine with a passion for film, writing and graphic design.
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