When Camille Hesterberg began attending Appalachian, she had a highly specific goal: to study the transition of the former Communist countries of eastern and central Europe into democracies of the European Union. This needed to be done a) in an interdisciplinary manner and b) as part of a study-abroad program.
“You have to look at the politics, the economics, the social aspects – everything together,” she said recently.
As luck would have it, a new program of study at the time, called Global Studies, was emerging that met Hesterberg’s needs. It enabled her to study developments on the ground in Budapest, where she had been a Rotary Youth Exchange student. The idea was to “learn from people who had experienced the transition” to EU democracy.
Hesterberg earned a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies in 2011. While at Appalachian, she took courses in such subjects as economics, geography, history and political science. She recalls “an amazing experience.”
“You felt like you could be a part of many different departments,” she said. “But at the same time, you always felt you had this home base.”
Hesterberg is back in Budapest for a third time, earning a master’s degree in public policy at Central European University. After graduation, she plans to stay in Budapest and contribute research on Hungary’s Roma that non-governmental organizations can use to help that minority group.