Claire Yoo

Claire Yoo, a second-year international studies major, is one of five inaugural recipients of the UCI Social Sciences Moore Scholarship for Community and Social Change. The $2,000 award supports students who demonstrate the most academic promise and potential to enact change and improve the community. Below, the aspiring diplomat from Portland, Oregon shares her Anteater experience, accomplishments, and future plans.

What inspired your major at UCI, and what aspects of international studies intrigue you the most?

I decided to pursue an international studies major because I wanted to deepen my understanding as well as ability to analyze complex global issues. I specifically chose to pursue this major at UCI because of the resources it provides through diverse faculty and courses, networking opportunities, study abroad programs, and its interdisciplinary approaches in education.

When do you plan to finish your degree and what are your plans thereafter?

I plan to finish my degree in the summer of 2026, and I hope to go into a career in diplomacy.

What would you consider your biggest accomplishment at UCI? Also, tell us about your campus and community involvement, including volunteer work and organizations you've been part of.

I take great pride in my active involvement in internships and volunteering throughout my first year of college. These experiences have not only enriched my personal growth but have also allowed me to contribute meaningfully to my community and gain valuable real-world skills that I believe will serve me in my academic and future professional pursuits.

I’ve also been involved in scholar coordinator volunteering at the International Center, interning at the Korean American Center in Irvine, and doing a research assistant internship for Water UCI.

What challenges or hurdles have you faced in getting to where you are today?

Growing up Korean in an American environment brought challenges and opportunities in both academics and social circles.  As a common challenge, I faced the duality of one culture in the family setting, and while extremely comfortable and second nature, outside I had to assume an American viewpoint in order to fully experience my surroundings.  This brought an incredible opportunity to learn even more than if I had had a single cultural background.

Where can you most often be found on campus?

Definitely the Courtyard Study Lounge- it’s my favorite study spot on campus!

What’s your best memory thus far from your undergraduate experience at UCI?

My best memories definitely come from being able to learn new things and interact with different people from diverse backgrounds during my classes.



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