Ana Belen de Abril García Inga grew up in Lima, Perú, dreaming of someday becoming president of that South American country.
Her reason was simple: “I just want to improve Peruvian lives and help my home.”
García Inga knew if she wanted to fulfill her goal, she needed to take a risk, and an international one at that. She is now more than 3,500 miles from home studying in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University with hopes of returning to serve her country.
The freshman government and international politics major chose Mason due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., and the opportunities afforded by a location near the seat of American government. “I wanted to go somewhere that has faculty with more experience in international relations and be close to everything happening in the world,” she said.
García Inga became interested in government and economics at a young age.
“Growing up, it was easy to see the complicated politics of Perú and I wanted to learn more about it and how to someday hopefully fix it,” she said. She added that studying international relations and government is not as common in Perú and she wanted to attend a school where she knew she would have access to the best resources available.
After attending a Model UN conference in the U.S., she knew this was where she wanted to pursue her education. So far, the university has exceeded her expectations.
“George Mason gives you so many connections to important people in the government, and what better place to study about the world than in Washington D.C., one of the most important cities in the world?”
As for her American education, “the professors in the Schar School are really passionate about what they are teaching, which helps make me more interested in the class and they really care about their students,” she said, adding that she already feels more passionate about what she’s studying—if that were possible.
In the future, García Inga looks forward to finishing her degree and attending a graduate program or work for an international organization.