How I chose my double major: Political Science + French

Students sit outside in the courtyard of CSU's Eddy Hall.

In the “How I chose my major” series, we showcase the academic paths CSU students have taken, and students tell their stories in their own words. Read on to meet Lia, who is double majoring in Political Science and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (French concentration), and learn how she decided this was the perfect path for her college career and beyond.

The feeling of being in a new country, trying new foods, visiting new places, and speaking with the local people is a feeling unlike any I’ve experienced before. My curiosity to learn about new places and cultures has fostered my passion for learning about different countries, cultures, and languages. I grew up traveling to South America every few years to see family in Uruguay, and I’ve been to 11 countries. Being able to communicate well is very valuable within any country, and when I was thinking about college, I knew I had to choose a major that would involve international travel and give me the skills to communicate with a variety of people.

Why political science?

Within CSU’s Political Science major, there are three concentrations: Environmental Politics and Policy, Global Politics and Policy, and U.S. Government, Law, and Policy. I chose the Global Politics and Policy concentration because it had a global focus. I also saw the benefits of learning about how politics function in countries beyond the United States could help me explore differences across cultures. Two of my favorite classes have been Environmental Justice Movements as well as a Comparative Government class. The professors in my major are passionate about the topics they teach, which makes classes much more interesting and impactful.

Why French?

In every country I’ve traveled to, I have tried to learn at least a couple of words or phrases to communicate with locals, and that has given me more positive interactions while there. I am bilingual in Spanish and English, and I started taking French classes in high school. I went to Paris the summer going into my first year at CSU, and my love for the French language grew even more. I quickly realized that the French language is incredibly useful to know; it is one of the most-spoken languages in the world. I knew early on that majoring in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures with a concentration in French would complement my Political Science major, and allow me to explore my interest in French language and culture. My favorite classes in the French concentration have been Phonetics, which helped improve my pronunciation tremendously, and a Business French course, which expanded my vocabulary.

Internship experience

Recently, I had the opportunity to intern as the social media and PR manager of Dafero, a social enterprise that helps fund education and employment programs for refugee women and trafficked women worldwide. I created content, worked within various social media platforms, and wrote blogs and newsletters. Through my work there, I realized that my majors will allow me to jump into so many different careers after CSU. Working and learning with professionals in the field and gave me motivation to keep finding new projects that interest me and have a positive impact on people around the world. The internship gave me real-life experience in my interest areas, and helped solidify my choice of majors as the right ones to get me where I hope to go in the future.

Lia Arriata headshot

Lia Arrieta is a double major in Political Science and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (French concentration) at CSU. She works as an Admissions Ambassador and a peer facilitator. She is involved in the French club and El Centro (a Latinx cultural center). In her free time, she enjoys going to coffee shops with friends, drawing, going to concerts, traveling, salsa dancing, hiking, and watching the newest movies and TV shows.