Kyle Upchurch, 2017, United States

On the Map Your Future Program: Fletcher offers the Map Your Future Program, which invites undergraduates to apply and (if accepted) know that they will enroll, but that then allows applicants to get at least two years of work experience before joining Fletcher. For me, as a college senior, I applied knowing how great Fletcher's reputation and curriculum were, but understanding that I didn't yet have the professional experience that Fletcher might expect. Through Map Your Future, I was able to gain a sense of security and purpose while striking out on my own to get professional experience.

On the diversity of the community: At Fletcher, nearly 50% of the student body is from outside the U.S. It's hard to put a hard number on how valuable that is, but when one is studying international affairs, diversity is an enormous benefit. Already, I have had conversations with people from parts of the world I never thought I'd visit. The different experiences, knowledge, and perspectives everyone brings are one of the foremost ways Fletcher has broadened my own global perspective. Even for someone well-traveled, having one's classmates be so diverse is of immeasurable value.

Favorite newspaper:

The New York Times

Favorite musician or band:

The Shins

Favorite city:

Valencia, Spain

Most memorable international experience:

Two-week trip to rural Kenya to meet with students and school personnel

Global issue that brought you to Fletcher:

Inequality of social and economic opportunities within and across countries

Fields of Study

Human Security

Political Systems & Theories

Activities involved in at Fletcher

Human Rights Project

Education before Fletcher

BA, Political Science & International Studies, Iowa State University

BA, World Languages & Cultures (Spanish), Iowa State University

Experience before Fletcher

Executive Director - Hopeful Africa, West Des Moines/Iowa/USA

Economic Impact Program Development Specialist (Public Ally AmeriCorps) - Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, Des Moines/Iowa/USA

Research Intern - Center for Citizen Diplomacy, Des Moines/Iowa/USA