By Sarah Harvey, CIB Analyst |
This semester, the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief had the privilege of welcoming two international students to the club. Both Eva Ruiz and Sheila Martinez are citizens of Spain and spent the past semester at Coastal Carolina University. During an interview, Ruiz and Martinez both expressed their satisfaction with CCU, and were excited by the doors opened. Eva Ruiz, of Valladolid, is a student at the Universidad Europea de Madrid, located in Spanish capital Madrid. With accomplishments already stacked high, Ruiz has attained her Bachelor’s degree in Law, and is in her fifth year finishing up her second Bachelor’s degree in Criminology. After completing this degree, the sky is the limit for Ruiz and has yet to determine if she would like to stay in the United States, or
return home to Spain. Sheila Martinez, who is from Southern Spain, is also a student at the Universidad Europea de Madrid. Like Ruiz, she has completed her first Bachelor’s degree in Law, and continuing to pursue her second Bachelor’s degree in Criminology at the university. Martinez has one year of studying left before chasing her aspirations. Martinez hopes to attain a Master’s degree in either France of the United States, but remains undecided.
When asked how the CIB was chosen, Ruiz explained that it was a requirement to join a club here at Coastal, and the word “intelligence” caught their attention. Neither knew what the CIB was, but interested in learning more, both had signed up for the club. After discovering the objectives of the CIB, and the requirements of its members, Ruiz and Martinez now had to focus on their specific
region of focus. Ruiz focuses on the political uncertainty within Spain and the effect it has on worsening the economic instability of the nation. Martinez has the objective of determining if Catalonia will edge closer to independence from Spain in 2016.
Neither Ruiz nor Martinez had any criticism of the CIB and its structure; each was excited to select the topic with which they were going to study: “In Spain all students have a closed program, so we can’t choose our subjects. Here in Coastal, you can choose all your subjects even if are not related to your major,” described Ruiz. Martinez agreed, “The system is not the same.” In agreement, Ruiz and Martinez both declared the CIB to be beneficial, as it is not something they would be able to do in Spain. Ruiz elaborated, “That is something I like the most here […]. I can learn about new areas that I’m interested in.” Ruiz continued, “A student organization, promoted by the students, is something different that we never have seen.”
Unfortunately, the differences between the United States and Spain presented some difficulties for the women when it came to briefing other students. “Here, the economic system is really different. If I want to say something, I have to explain a lot of things before.” Martinez agreed in stating, “Some things I said, I would have to explain more.” Martinez explained that there are different concepts related to both her topic of Catalonia, and Ruiz’s topic of political and economic instability in Spain, that are essential to understanding the current state of their focuses. Also, a
language barrier was presented as some concepts in Spanish do not directly translate to English, presenting an obstacle to conquer. However, it was reported by another CIB member, that both Ruiz and Martinez do an excellent job with briefing seeing, as they are not in the direct field of intelligence.
When asked how the women are getting a long at Coastal, they shared the same opinion of satisfied approval. Both had commented generally on how “Americanized” Coastal was, however, they enjoyed their time at CCU. Of the CIB members, both Ruiz and Martinez are relatively close to their areas of focus, since they have lived most of their lives in Spain. In addition, Ruiz and Martinez share the same advantage of being culturally submersed in their topic, which may provide a deeper understanding of the topics at hand. Unfortunately, Ruiz and Martinez will not be returning to Coastal in the fall; however, both mentioned that they will miss the CIB, just as the CIB will miss them. Breaking ground in an international sense is a huge step for the student-led organization. The CIB continues to welcome students who may not be enrolled in the Intelligence program with high hopes of opening new doors to others.