My Summer of Research in Santiago, Chile: Week 1: Global Perspectives

Author: Maddie Hahn

United Buddy Bears is an art exhibition made up of over 140 two-meter tall bear statues, each representing countries recognized by the United Nations. Each bear is hand-painted by different artists on behalf of their native countries, and the bear statues stand side by side, holding hands, representing a future vision of a peaceful world with countries united in peace and harmony. The bears travel around the world, allowing visitors to experience a global journey by simply walking through the exhibition, and the bears are currently on display in Parque Bicentenario in Santiago’s commune of Vitacura. In between interviews and e-mail sending this past week, I was able to pay a visit to this unique exhibition. Wandering amongst the decorated bears spurred thoughts on my own global experiences and the international exposure I have gained both inside and outside the classroom at Notre Dame. Specifically, seeing so many countries represented in this exhibition reminded me of the various ways in which Notre Dame too promotes the idea of working together in unity and harmony in order to create a more peaceful world.


Notre Dame senior, Lauren Antosz (left) is also in Santiago for two months this summer conducting research. Be on the lookout for a spotlight on her project, but in the meantime, enjoy this photo of us repping Notre Dame on the other side of the equator! Doesn't the Ireland Buddy Bear look like he’d fit right in at ND?

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame works to promote the university’s goals on internationalization, specifically by providing global opportunities to students and faculty. Kellogg promotes the exploration of human democracy and development through research and aims to create a space where those who are interested in international affairs can engage. I have been fortunate enough to work as a student assistant at Kellogg for the past two years, which has allowed me to see and learn about many of the global endeavors within the Kellogg community. Not only does Kellogg offer minors in International Development and Latin American studies, the institute also has an International Scholars program, summer internships as well as summer research grants, all of which are available to undergraduates. Kellogg is an excellent example of a Notre Dame institute that provides great opportunities for undergraduates of all years to become involved in a global topic that interests them and pursue it.


Spotted: The USA Buddy Bear!

Working at Kellogg inspired me to pursue my own international interests, which has led me to where I am sitting right now – at a coffee shop in downtown Santiago, just having wrapped up an interview with a university professor. As my second week here in Santiago is coming to a close, I have a moment to reflect. My research thus far has been going well. I have had the opportunity to interview multiple professors of English at various Chilean universities in downtown Santiago, and I am learning more and more about the process of teaching English, successful methodologies and the general challenges that professors of English face. I still have plenty of interviews to get done during my next three weeks here, and I am excited to see what else I will learn. If my personal global experiences afforded to me by Notre Dame have taught me one thing, it is that the world is a big place, and there is always so much to explore!


A section of the United Buddy Bears at Parque Bicentenario with downtown Santiago in the background

Stay tuned for my third blog, as I will have more specific updates on my research as well as a spotlight on another Notre Dame institution that offers unique research and international opportunities for undergraduates. Please note that I hyperlinked to the websites for both United Buddy Bears as well as the Kellogg Institute. I highly recommend perusing both websites, if not to catch the United Buddy Bears at the next stop on their world tour, but to check out the exciting opportunities that Kellogg has to offer. Until next time, ciao y que les vaya muy bien!