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Veronica Paz Gonzalez

Hometown

Weston, Florida

Education

B.A. in International Studies (Focus on the Middle East), Minor in Latin American Studies, International Scholars Program and Peace Corp Prep in Youth Development Medallion, Spirituality and Health Certificate from The University of Florida

Study Abroad:

2019 University of Jordan (Amman, Jordan); 2018 Universadade Federal de Santa Caterina (Florianopolis, Brazil); 2018 Sant’Anna (Sorrento, Italy); 2017 Centro de Linguas (Lisbon, Portugal); 2015 University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom); 2014 ESL (Ascona, Switzerland); 2013 Linguaviva (Lignano, Italy)

Interests:

Diversity & Inclusion, international affairs and law, immigration, education, policy, travel, human rights, crime, poverty, advocacy.

Experience

I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. My family and I have been living here since June 2000; it is now 19 years later, and we are still not citizens. We are currently residents and just submitted our citizenship application. Because of my firsthand experience with the immigration system and through my International Studies bachelor’s coursework at the University of Florida, I am fueled with the passion to become an immigration lawyer and assist families who are forced to go through this complicated system. It is my dream to obtain this prestigious master’s degree and go to law school to study immigration and international law.

My background in International Studies has led me to study many languages and travel extensively. I am fluent in both English and Spanish, and I am at the intermediate level in Arabic and Portuguese. I studied abroad eight times throughout the past six years. During these experiences abroad, I have interned for ONLUS LESS an NGO that assists with arrival and integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Naples, Italy and Resultados Digitais, a digital marketing company, in Florianopolis, Brazil. During my time in Gainesville, I have volunteered at the ESOL program at the Gainesville High School, which has only further ignited my interest in immigration and education. Contributing to my community has always been important to me, and since September, I have been one of the two International Relations Specialists to the Mayor of Gainesville, Mayor Lauren Poe. While minoring in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, I took a graduate-level class at UF’s Center for Latin American Studies, which introduced me to MALAS and drove me to apply to this incredible program.

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