Global Engagement > About > News & Reports > student-feature-teodora-preradovic
By Global Engagement Staff /
June 7, 2021 /
Posted in: Featured Stories /
Students like Teodora Preradovic (Tea) who crave a global experience during their college years, do so even more when confronted with an isolating pandemic. When DePaul campuses closed last March 2020, all faculty and students made rapid adjustments to remote learning. At DePaul, we launched the Global Conversations as an opportunity for students around the world to connect with one another and share aspects of their experience of the pandemic. Tea, as well as hundreds of other students across the globe participated. Tea, a third year undergraduate student at DePaul majoring in Communications Studies and Spanish, connected with her family in Serbia to understand how the pandemic was affecting them, and she was interested to learn about how the pandemic impacted people in other geographical settings. She shared,“The largeness of the matter felt abstract; the whole planet navigating the same traumatic moment in history. Although everyone was enduring the outcomes of the pandemic, it was making an impact on nations and even communities within nations (ex: how COVID-19 disproportionately impacted communities of color in Chicago and the U.S.) in colossally different ways. I wanted to participate in the Global Conversations to step out of the echo-chamber of U.S. news and discourse and hear about how other regions, states, and societies were dealing with the crisis.” Over the three rounds of Global Conversations from May 2020-April 2021, Tea has attended nine sessions with topics such as global business and politics, communicating one’s experience during a pandemic, the impact of climate change on refugees and virtual education in a globalized world. During the first round of Global Conversations she met another DePaul student from Botswana with whom she has kept in touch and looks forward to seeing in person when DePaul returns to campus. Tea stated, “it's incredible how healthy an online friendship can be. She's changed my life in various ways and I'm incredibly grateful to have met her!”Her participation in the Global Conversations is not a surprise; Tea is active in Global Engagement. She attended the First Year Abroad program to Ireland during Spring Break 2019, after which she became a Study Abroad Ambassador, advocating for study abroad to other students. She is also a Global Coffee Hour Leader where she orients and welcomes first year international students to Chicago and the DePaul community. Through all these initiatives she has been able to complete the requirements for the Global Fluency Certificate, a recognition for students who actively pursue global learning opportunities. With one year left at DePaul, she intends to keep exploring those global opportunities. “I'm hoping to attend the Mérida study abroad trip next winter quarter (2022) to polish my Spanish skills and learn more about Mexican and Mayan culture,” Tea stated. We also hope she will be able to make that happen, and to continue finding ways to stay curious in a globalized world.