Hi there! My name is Anastasia Ruttkay and I am a senior at UC Davis studying International Relations, minoring in Spanish. I would argue that my major definitely gears me to work abroad in the future, acclimating towards my interest to explore and appreciate new places, cultures, and people.
The travel bug is something that sparked in me at a very young age. Being half Italian, my family would always find an excuse to travel around Europe. The premature exposure to the cheek-to-cheek greetings, gelato as an afternoon snack, and conversations expressed through hand motions and body language is what made me realize that this world is an endless journey.
I grew up in San Diego, living about 15 minutes from the US-Mexico border. This is where my profound adoration for the Latino culture and Spanish language birthed. Throughout high school I traveled to Mexico many times, and although this stretched my love for the country, it also taught me to not be naive. Unfortunately, there is a huge drug culture that has strong roots in the economy and government of Mexico. I didn’t comprehend the ambiguity of this influence until several people in my hometown were involved and taken out by the cartel. This really opened my eyes to see that although we have this beautiful image of what the world is, you can’t be vulnerable to it.
Fast forward into my years at UC Davis, the subjects I’m studying couldn’t mesh more perfectly with my past experiences. Fall quarter of my junior year I studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina through the UC Davis Study Abroad program, taking upper division Spanish classes at the Universidad de Cuyo for my minor. Along the way I had the opportunity to travel in Brazil, Chile, and throughout Patagonia. I cannot express in words the beauty of this life changing trip. South America is not only breathtaking, but rich in diversity and culture! UC Davis Study Abroad helped this dream come true, and I couldn’t be more excited to help others develop their passion for the world.
To reiterate, it is important to dive head first in every opportunity to travel. At the same time, it is smart to be cautious, open-minded, and above all else, safe. UC Davis Study Abroad ensures all of this, and I couldn’t be happier to contribute to a team that works to make amazing trips like mine possible. The world is the journey you wish to make it, and as an Administrative Assistant I would love to make this wish a reality.
Never stop exploring.