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#MyMessage — Emy Matesan

Meet Ioana Emy Matesan, a political science Ph.D student from Romania.

Ioana Emy Matesan’s first US experience didn’t prepare her for her second one. From the big city of San Francisco, to the country town of Monmouth, Ill., Matesan was shocked when she arrived for her freshman year of college at Monmouth College.

“It was like a farm town. The college was in the middle of nowhere. I was only used to the big cities in the US. That was the biggest culture shock,” Matesan said.

Check out #MyMessage for more stories about SU international students.

Matesan’s Romanian roots have helped form the person she is today. Matesan is currently working on her Ph.D. at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She holds a bachelor’s in political science and economics and a master’s in political science from Arizona State University. Today, Matesan’s studies focus on international security, democratization and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She hopes to complete her Ph.D. in 2015.   

Matesan’s parents encouraged all of their children to value education. But it was difficult for them to learn about different people and cultures while growing up under communism in Romania. Only Matesan, the youngest, was able to learn Western languages; it was forbidden for her older siblings.

As a child, Matesan was fascinated with her parents’ book collection. Someday, Matesan hopes to have a house with a room that has four walls full of books.

 “I don’t like how we’re moving towards devices like the Kindle,” she said. “A world without books would be a scary one. I wouldn’t want to live in it.”

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