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Sarah Castellanos


Degree: Bachelor’s in Political Science and International Relations

College/School: Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs

A passion for human rights led Sarah Castellanos to look for ways to “travel with a purpose.”

Over the past two years at FIU, she did just that – traveling to 24 countries and four continents, volunteering at a slum school in India, teaching English at a Bedouin Tribe Camp in Jerusalem and raising money for hospitals in Africa.

Facing financial difficulties at a private university, Sarah came to FIU specifically for its human rights and study abroad programs. Starting with a semester at sea in Fall 2014, she completed three study abroad courses, covering the cost with scholarships and working full time.

During the semester at sea, her ship was rerouted because of the Ebola crisis. Wanting to help, Sarah founded “Healthy Africa” and collected currency from the 15 countries she visited to send to hospitals in the region.

Sarah continued her travels the next summer, living in Jerusalem and teaching English to children in Palestinian territory. She worked with non-government organizations to provide a forum for Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews to come together. She traveled to Jordan to participate in “Women Behind the Veil,’’ a program about the life of women in conservative Muslim communities.

Sarah spent the following winter break living and working at the Wahoe Commune Slum School in New Delhi. The lessons were often the only education the children had ever received.

An award-winning member of FIU’s Model UN program, Sarah plans to either pursue a master’s degree in human rights and development or work at a non-profit in Washington, D.C.