When Nadya Chavies came to UCSB from her hometown of Hesperia in San Bernardino County, she went global — literally. Entering as a political science major, she quickly realized she wanted a broader worldview so she changed her major to global studies.
“I am passionate about issues that go on globally and around the world,” Chavies said. “I wanted to be in a major that promoted that.”
When she leaves UCSB after graduation, she’ll head first to Washington, D.C. and the University of California’s UCDC program. From there, she hopes to live in China and work in the government sector or with a non-governmental organization. “I’d like to be in Eastern China in a rural area,” Chavies said. “I’m really interested in the growth of China and how fast it has moved on the scale economically and how it has almost become one of the superpowers. I’m interested how they’re working around in their economy.”
To begin that journey, Chavies plans to apply for a yearlong Ameson Year in China internship, which will enable her to immerse herself in Chinese culture and to improve her fluency in Mandarin.
During her first year at UCSB, Chavies lived on a Black Scholars hall, an experience she described as an awakening. “I developed a fuller understanding of what it meant to be Black and to be Black in America,” she said. “And UCSB helped shape that — the Black Studies department in particular, and the Black Student Union and global studies. All these things helped shape my understanding of the world and how I fit in, and all the things I want to help change. UCSB helped me navigate that.”
Chavies credits UCSB and her academic experience with putting the world at her fingertips. “Knowledge isn’t necessarily what someone gives you,” she said. “And it’s not in a book and it’s not truth because someone says it is. It’s exploring knowledge and finding your own truths. And that’s where UCSB helped me academically. It pushed me to understand there isn’t always going to be an answer, and sometimes the answer is what you find yourself.”