With wanderlust to explore the world and a passion for the performing arts, ETSU junior Eva Alom has found many opportunities in her college career to explore her interests.
She has acted on the chance to travel through the university with trips related to her major of International Relations and Dance minor.
She took her first trip with the school to Cincinnati during her freshman year. After auditioning to travel with the dance department, she was selected for the part of a piece being performed there.
“Whenever I hear of an opportunity that sounds exciting I tend to go into determination mode to make sure I can be a part of it!” Alom said. “Once I heard about the trip, I knew I had to audition, so I spent hours learning the audition dance from a YouTube video. I think that was a very important experience to have as a freshman because it made me feel like I had a place in the program and that I had something to offer the department.”
The trip to Cincinnati fueled her desire to travel, but by her sophomore year she was eager to look into the possibility of studying abroad. After finding a flyer advertising a trip to Turkey, she was immediately interested.
“I think the Turkey trip appealed most to me because the culture there is much different from that of the United States,” she said. “The European trips all sounded great, but I wanted to experience something completely different from home.”
Alom applied for one of the study abroad scholarships and was able to furnish about half of the trip’s cost with that. The other half she paid for with money she had saved from dancing at the Barton Theatre. It was shortly before her trip to Turkey that she decided to be an International Affairs major.
She recollects that it was this travel experience that quickly reassured her she had chosen the right major.
“I had my ‘ah-ha’ moment when we were listening to one of the aids to parliament talk about how the whole parliamentary system worked there,” she said. “We went inside the parliament building in Ankara, and although we were the only ones there, I could feel how alive the room had been with discussion. We were lucky enough to be in Turkey on May 19, the commemoration of Atatürk, (Turkish holiday) … after traveling and seeing all of the political passion, I absolutely fell in love with my major.”
Her latest trip will be this week in New York City with ETSU’s Model United Nations club. The club will be attending a conference to represent ETSU.
“I’ve done several scrimmages on campus but next week will be my first conference with non ETSU students,” she said. “It’s going to be intimidating and difficult to make our voices heard as representatives of ETSU and our given country of Qatar, but I look forward to the challenge.”
Along with the Model United Nations club, she is also involved with ETSU’s International Buccaneer Buddies program and Mountain Movers dance company. Her upcoming performance in April will be with the production of Trojan Women, a play about the lives of the women of Troy after being conquered by the Greeks.
As she prepares to graduate early in December, she hopes to pursue a career where she can incorporate some sort of creative outlet along with an ability to travel.
“I would love to go to graduate school for international relations … after traveling to Turkey, I know I would love to do anything that allows me to travel as part of my job,” she said. “Working at an embassy or for an international organization would be dream jobs for me!”
Although she has many interests, she is trying to keep her options open. She will be completing an internship at a law firm this summer. While she is considering graduate school or law school, her love of the performing arts is very influential.
“I have been studying aerial silks during my time at ETSU, and I hope to continue learning and possibly teaching the exciting art,” she said. “Last semester, I was the dance captain and assistant choreographer for ETSU’s Oklahoma production … it has inspired me to expand my choreography skills and consider that as a possibility for the future as well.”
Dance and international relations may not seem to support each other at first, but she has found that through creative expression, the two can easily relate. Next semester she plans to combine the two fields into several pieces she choreographs.
“I’ll be doing an independent study based on the history of dance as a reflection of human rights, and I hope to choreograph several pieces expressing current social justice issues and the emotional side of international human rights violations.”