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International Student Profile: Polina Pendeva
April 4, 2007

Scheduling a time to meet with fourth-year student Polina Pendeva is a challenge. The international political economy/economics joint major has a jam-packed schedule, full of academic and extra-curricular commitments.

Polina PendevaMs. Pendeva first learned about Trent University from a student who attended her high school in Bulgaria. She considered schools abroad in the United States as well as Canada, but personally knowing a student who had won a Trent scholarship influenced her decision to come to Peterborough.

"Trent is the best school for scholarships in Canada – maybe in North America," she says. Ms. Pendeva’s own scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, books, and medical insurance. The economic situation in Bulgaria is such that she could not have afforded to come to Trent without this scholarship, she explains.

Ms. Pendeva has always been interested in traveling. She has studied German, French and English, and knows some Swedish, Russian and Spanish, along with her native Bulgarian. "I’m comfortable being abroad," she says, which is why she decided to travel in her third year of study for a year abroad in Sweden at Jonkoping University. "It was the most rewarding experience so far," she says. "[Travel] opens up your eyes in seeing who you are and who you can be."

After joining the Trent International Students’ Association (TISA) in her first year at Trent, Ms. Pendeva became more heavily involved in her second year as a co-chair. Now in her fourth year, she became interested in contributing to TISA’s annual Cultural Outreach show. It is an annual event that has become so large that TISA has created an external committee of ten people to focus on it. "It started off as a performing arts show, but now has become a professional show," Ms. Pendeva explains.

Planning for the March 3 and 4 events began in December, with auditions in January and five weeks for the acts to plan and rehearse. The show, which took place in Wenjack Theatre, was nearly sold out, with approximately 700 tickets sold. There were 20 acts, and the emcees pulled the acts together with the central theme of "Destination: Anywhere." Ms. Pendeva was the stage director of the show, and a performer. She was also responsible for selling tickets, doing publicity work, selecting acts from the auditions, and attending all rehearsals and performances. With a successful event behind her, she is proud of her accomplishments: "This was the best show we’ve produced," she says with triumph.

Looking to the future, Ms. Pendeva’s ambition is to work in international relations, possibly for the United Nations. She has been accepted to a number of graduate schools for the next academic year, and is waiting to hear if she has won scholarships. She is also an avid photographer.

"My ultimate dream is to work for Newsweek," she says. "Writing political articles, carrying my camera, and being sent to cool places. No fixed schedule!"


Written in partnership with Trent student Julia Horel