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Pillai ’17 Shares Passion for Global Studies
students in classroom with world map

As part of the Bolles Global Learning and Engagement program, Bolles alumna Natasha Pillai ’17 returned to the Upper School San Jose Campus January 20 to discuss how she discovered her passion for global studies – a field in which she holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

“Global studies is an interdisciplinary field drawing on politics, economics, sociology, history, medicine and science while teaching how to work and communicate effectively across cultures,” said Natalia Aycart, Bolles Director of Global Learning and Engagement. “Regardless of the educational path or major chosen, one must gain the critical skills offered by the global learning field to succeed in the interdependent and interconnected world we live in.”

Pillai shared the seven-step process she used to choose her major at the beginning of her collegiate career. This selection process included sorting through course listings, pinpointing majors she was interested in, considering strong minor options and identifying prerequisites for each major. While in college, she penned many academic papers as part of the program, including “Continuity in Intention: The United Arab Emirates in the Modern Period,” “Violence and the School Lunch Space: The Importance of Food in the Recreation of Harm,” and “Nagorno-Karabakh: A Peacebuilding Perspective.”

When reflecting on her path, Pillai said she wished she had known more about the global studies field when she was in upper school. The Bolles Chahlavi Center for Global Learning and Engagement opened in 2022, five years after she graduated, and the Global Learning and Engagement program is growing by leaps and bounds, providing more opportunities for students to pursue All Things Possible on an international level.

For information about Bolles’ Global Learning and Engagement program, click here.