#IncomingElliott: Caleb Darger

#IE Darger

Caleb Darger holds a bachelor degree from Brigham Young University where he studied history, Asian Studies, and Chinese. He will be pursuing a Master’s in Global Communication with an Asian Studies emphasis at the Elliott School beginning Fall 2019. Caleb is particularly interested in the intersection between politics and communications/media. This interest has led to internships at the Atlantic Council and the East-West Center in Washington. He is currently an intern at the US Senate Sergeant at Arms in the media relations department. Caleb enjoys traveling, learning languages, cooking, playing music, and being outdoors.

What made you interested in your undergrad field of study and how, if at all, did that contribute to your decision to go to grad school?

I studied history, Asian Studies, and Chinese for my undergrad. When I first started college I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I liked history. So I started with that major, and I ended up sticking with it. The interest in Asia came from a humanitarian trip I took to Taiwan in the middle of my studies. I lived there for two years, doing community service, teaching English, and learning Chinese. My interactions with locals really opened my eyes to the way US foreign policy affects individuals in every corner of the globe, and I became hopelessly fascinated with the dynamics of international politics—especially in East Asia. 

What are you looking forward to about starting your MA program?

I’m very much looking forward to meeting and connecting with the people in my program, and to learning from qualified professors who have had professional experience in careers that I am interested in. It has been a couple years since I have been in school, but I am excited to learn in a classroom setting again and engage in rigorous discussion and debate about weighty real-world issues with my professors and colleagues. I am not so much looking forward to tests and worrying about grades, but I welcome the opportunity to receive feedback, and the opportunity to grow.

Is there anything about moving to DC/starting grad school that you’re nervous about?

I have been living in DC for about a year now, so I feel comfortable here. It’s a great city and I’m glad this is where I’ll be pursuing my graduate education. The thing I am most nervous about by far is the massive amount of debt that I will be incurring in order to get this education. The program I’m pursuing doesn’t typically lead to high-paying jobs, so I am just hoping that by following my passions everything will work out, and I will be able to find a job that will help me pay off the debt sooner rather than later. Being in debt is a crippling and debilitating feeling, and nothing frightens me more about graduate school than knowing that I will likely be unable to avoid it.

I wish I would have taken a picture of when I… 

found out GW was offering me a partial scholarship. I am normally quite mild-mannered, but in that moment, I was jumping for joy.

The #IncomingElliott series highlights incoming Elliott School graduate students and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. Find out more about this program by creating a CustomViewbook!

For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.