"From Dream to Reality," Shirin Bouzari (2016 grad)
Shirin Bouzari moved from Iran to Whitewater in August 2013. When she was in Iran she studied Political Science, but she had always wanted to study International Relations. When she arrived in Whitewater, she chose Public Diplomacy as her emphasis and took advantage of the opportunities this major presented to her. Shirin took part in the Summer UN Program in 2014. This program is a 6-credit course, which is offered once a year through UW-Milwaukee. In the first week students meet in Milwaukee where they attend a course on the UW-Milwaukee campus. Afterwards, students take a trip to New York with faculty members and for one month they attend the briefings and meetings that take place in the United Nations buildings. They also attend meetings with representatives of different organizations that work for the UN. They have the opportunity to have a Q&A session after each of these sessions. At the end of this program, students are required to give a certain number of summaries from their meetings and they must also submit a research paper on a topic related to the United Nations. When asked what her most memorable moment was, Shirin explains, "The first day they took us on a tour of the UN, which for me was amazing, I had never done that before. And I think just getting into that building, you dream of being there, it made me feel emotional. I saw a carpet from my country hanging in the entry and that made it even more exciting.'' She also recounts how thrilling it was to be in the actual Security Council room where many of the world's most important decisions are made. Finally, Shirin strongly urges anyone in International Studies, or not, to travel and learn more about other places. Why? "I think that studying International Studies, you need to know about other places. What is going on in other countries, knowing what's happening around the world could help you have a vision of what you want to do in the future.'' Update: Shirin is currently a second-year graduate student in International Affairs at Penn State University. She is spending this semester (Fall 2018) in the Netherlands.
To learn more about UWM's summer program at the United Nations, visit
Shirin, in the UN Security Council, summer 2014