Dalma Arteaga is a third-year triple major (Supply Chain & Operations Management (Terry); International Affairs (SPIA); Portuguese (Franklin)). She is passionate about building community on campus– specifically with those who are globally minded. Born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, but raised in Madrid, Spain, Arteaga’s journey to the University of Georgia started with her older brother, a UGA alumnus. Athens had already become a part of their family, so it was natural to follow in his footsteps.
Arteaga is involved in six student organizations and programs, but a few have been particularly meaningful.
“International Student Life and the Portuguese Flagship Program have both made UGA feel like my home,” said Arteaga. “ISL is a welcoming community that brings people together from all over the world.”
Hailing from a different country, she saw herself represented in the community. She has dedicated her time to welcoming other international students, showing them that UGA can become a home for them too. She does this through her consistent volunteer work at International Coffee Hour and through serving as a Senior World Leader at international student orientation.
ISL is not the only place that helped UGA’s large campus feel smaller. The Portuguese
Flagship Program has given her a chosen family on campus in both classmates and faculty members.
“We might be small compared to other language departments, but we are a tight community,” said Arteaga.
“I love attending Mesa Portuguesa, a conversational club, every Monday in the main Library,” she said. “It is a nice way to socialize and practice speaking, and you don’t even have to know Portuguese.”
Cris Lira, head of the Portuguese Department, has also made a profound impact on Arteaga.
“As a professor she is marvelous, but as a person she is even better,” said Arteaga. “There was a point where I was not going to class just to learn, but I was also going to class to be taught by her.”
All of her classmates agreed that Dr. Lira’s dedication radiates which made everyone eager to attend class and learn.
“I have been encouraged to learn from others and share my own experiences,” said Arteaga. “ISL brings together a vibrant community rich in culture and diversity.”
Arteaga shared that through these programs she’s constantly reminded of the importance of broadening her horizons. Through ISL, her flagship program, and her classes, multiculturalism is an important aspect of her education.
“As a person with a diverse background, having moved to a new country and learning two languages, through ISL, I have been able to grow as a leader and hone my multicultural competence,” she said.
Arteaga shared that even though UGA is huge, it can feel small “once you find your people.” For her, UGA has become a second home.
“My advice is to always be open to try new things,” she said. “You never know where a new opportunity can arise that will change your life.”