Senior Faridah Laffan '18 Travels Internationally to Conduct Senior Thesis Research
Photo by Nuno Patricio.
All Abroad: PIIRS Undergraduate Fellows Travel Internationally to Conduct Senior Thesis Sesearch
After senior Faridah Laffan read the work of Brazilian art and architecture historian Amy Buono describing the Portuguese influence on Brazilian religious objects, she was intrigued. The history major found the relationship fascinating and was convinced that the subject matter would make a great topic for her senior thesis, especially if she could travel abroad and experience this unique part of history for herself.
In fact, she did. Laffan and nine of her classmates had the opportunity to travel internationally this past summer after applying and being accepted into the undergraduate fellowship program administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). While Laffan spent several weeks studying azulejos, or painted tiles made in Portugal, other students took on projects such as researching refugee camps in Calais, France, and learning about travel along the Congo River.
Through the fellowship program, PIIRS provides the necessary funding for students to travel in order to really delve into their subject matter and conduct the research necessary to write their senior theses. Academic support is also part of the equation. The cohort of students and the fellowship adviser meet regularly before and after their travel to fine-tune their projects, which often pivot after the research abroad.