Benedikt Graf

What is your favorite campus tradition? The Keenan Review

What is your favorite spot on campus? One of my favorite spots lies under the oak on the hilltop next to St. Mary’s Lake.

What is your best Notre Dame memory? Playing Volleyball with my friends

What is your favorite Dining Hall Meal? Pasta Stir-Fry at North Dining Hall

What is your favorite thing about dorm life? Having my friends close to me

What clubs/activities are you involved in? I work as a research assistant for Professor Emilia Justyna Powell in the department of Political Science. Professor Powell is currently researching international dispute resolution whereby she focuses on states that exhibit an Islamic legal tradition. Assisting her has been one of my most fulfilling and interesting part of my studies here at ND. In addition, I am serving my first term as an International Student Ambassador for the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA). Working with other international students has been a great experience for me and when you attend International Orientation you will probably meet me there!

What made you choose Notre Dame? Neither the location, nor the weather, but the community and the opportunities.

What is your favorite part about being an international student at Notre Dame? Buildings bridges around the entire globe.  

How did you adjust to life on campus? For me, contact with my family back home has been crucial in helping me adjust. Even after a year in the US, I am still in regular contact with my family.

How do you celebrate your culture/heritage at ND? I do not actively celebrate my culture, but as a student I engage in discussion, debate and dialogue where I intuitively introduce my experiences. Many of these experiences come from my distinct background and heritage. Although I would not consider this a “celebration” per se, many of my friends would describe this dynamic as such.

What advice do you have for international students? As you embark on a new part of your life, here at Notre Dame, I would encourage you not to discount your home culture, but equally not to be afraid to embrace American culture.