Pitzer Spotlights

2007-2008 Spotlight Archives

Milan Burke '08 to Go to Sweden on Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

From Pitzer to Morocco to Sweden

Milan Burke '08
Milan Burke '08

I am extremely excited that I was assigned to Malmö University! It was my first choice.

I am from Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii. My major is International and Intercultural Studies. While at Pitzer, I have been a member of the Pomona College Choir, participated in a Baroque Chamber Ensemble as a flutist, and in the 5-C a cappella group the After School Specials. I was a member of the Pitzer Model United Nations Team that competed as Australia at the Harvard National Model UN in 2005. I was in the Special Political and Decolonization Committee. I was also on the Pomona Model Arab League Team in 2005 (as Iraq) and 2006 (as Bahrain) in the Arab Environmental Affairs Committee. In 2006, I served as Head Delegate of a team that took Best Country and Best Institution.

I studied abroad in Morocco where I conducted an independent study project on the Amazigh (Berber) indigenous language and its resurgence through the public school system. I had the chance to learn more Arabic and practice my French.

After Morocco, I went to Malmö to visit a Swedish friend of mine. I really liked my time there and I noticed that there were many immigrants, particularly from the Middle East. It appeared to be a sensitive subject for some Swedes, and after some research, I found that fully 1/4 of Malmö is comprised of immigrants from that region! The rest of Northern Europe is experiencing something similar, and immigration laws are becoming more and more stringent.

It is interesting to see how Northern Europe is changing politically and culturally because of these new residents. At the university, I will be completing a master's in International Relations or Immigration and Ethnic Relations. I'm thinking about law school after that. When I return home from my Rotary Scholarship, I'm expected to present a report to Hawaii Rotarians about immigration among Middle Easterners in Sweden.