South Dakota State University as a global experience

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A magician, a crossing guard or a Foreign Service Officer – these were the results of Hattie Seten’s eighth-grade career assessment test.

“I didn’t know what a Foreign Service Officer did, so I read the description and became interested,” said Seten of her initial introduction to the career she is working toward as she pursues Political Science, Spanish, and Global Studies degrees at SDSU.

“I want to immerse myself in other countries, learn about their languages and cultures as I work to advance U.S. missions and objectives abroad,” Seten explained.

In 2015, following high school graduation, the Sioux Falls native got her first taste of cultural immersion when she participated in the U.S. Department of States’ National Security Language Initiative for Youth program. She spent the year living in Morocco with a host family studying Arabic.

After this global experience, Seten was a bit unsure about returning to the Midwest to attend college. But since SDSU allowed her to pursue a triple major and she had scholarships waiting, she enrolled and says the university has exceeded her expectations.

To continue her Arabic studies, her advisor encouraged her to apply for an opportunity to spend summer 2018 in Amman, Jordan.

As a Pell-eligible student, scholarships ultimately made this opportunity possible for Seten, who was also given the chance to continue her global education in summer 2019 while interning with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. 

“SDSU can be an international experience if you want it to be,” explained Seten, who finds plenty of opportunities to keep her Arabic and Spanish fluent through conversations with international faculty and students

Seten also gives back, tutoring Central American immigrants in English and serving her peers as a Community Assistant.

“I understand what it is like to struggle to learn a language and be in an unfamiliar place. All these experiences help me gain a greater understanding of how globally connected our world is.”