Ari Price G'20

"I love the interdisciplinary framework"

I was born in the US in Washington State and mostly grew up on Lopez Island, Washington. When I was in high school, I spent a month in Phuket, Thailand and a few weeks in Quebec, but before AUP I had never really lived and worked outside of the US, aside from a few short internships. After acquiring my first master’s degree in social work, I spent some time in France in a professional capacity, moving to Paris for an internship at Hôpital Universitaire Pitié-Salpêtrière, which includes the first health and social service unit for the deaf to be founded in France. I also worked with the first school for the deaf in the world, l’Institut national de jeunes sourds de Paris. After improving both my French and my French Sign Language (LSF), I stayed on for a third internship with a school of social work. 

I am passionate about learning languages (notably sign languages) and wanted to work in macro level or international social work. When I found the Development Communications Track within AUP’s MA in Global Communications, I thought it would set me up for being involved with organizations that promote social justice and equality and foster a better, more inclusive global future. The research I conducted for my social work degree focused on the experiences of deaf people in the Peace Corps, of those in Japan versus those in the US, and of those in France. I wanted to expand my knowledge of deaf access to education, language and employment around the world, and advocate for more programs, better policies and improved social services worldwide. I aim to eventually get a sociology PhD that focuses on deaf inclusion. Outside of AUP, I enjoy going to marches and assemblies for social justice issues, lectures in local universities and signing cafe events.  

When I started at AUP, I was really impressed by just how many cultural excursions are on offer. The sheer number of international trips and the diversity of the student body is incredible. I knew right away I wanted to go to India to participate in the sustainable development practicum. The more I talk to others about their experiences the more grateful I am to be part of the AUP community. In the Development Communications course we took a trip to UNESCO and it was really exciting to see what people are working on there. As I am originally from a small island in the Pacific Northwest, it's beautiful to see how much diversity we have at AUP. I believe that I have become more ambitious since starting at the University by observing what other people are working on and reframing my idea of what is truly attainable.

Being at AUP has widened my scope of possible futures. As a person interested in sign languages and disability rights advocacy, there are not a lot of specific degrees or career titles that will enable me to work with these skill sets.

Ari Price

I feel lucky to have also had previous experience with the interdisciplinary style of education found at AUP in my undergrad experience at the University of Washington where I received a BA in Society, Ethics and Human Behavior with a minor in education and society. I love the interdisciplinary framework and enjoy how it is implemented at AUP, recognizing diverse skill sets and knowledge backgrounds. The international communication networks I obtain here let me continue to learn from people with a variety of experiences. I can participate in mutual empowerment and create better futures for people beyond just one tiny, local community. 

Being at AUP has widened my scope of possible futures. As a person interested in sign languages and disability rights advocacy, there are not a lot of specific degrees or career titles that will enable me to work with these skill sets. When I arrived in Paris, I was offered opportunities to become an English teacher for deaf youth, a signing social assistant, an American Sign Language (ASL) teacher or an interpreter. These paths are specific and narrow and don't allow for a lot of diverse working environments and experiences. One of the many burdens placed on millennials and Generation Y is that our job market is constantly changing. Since moving to France, I have talked to a lot of people who want to learn ASL, because just like English as a speaking language it is quickly becoming the most used sign language in media, entertainment and the professional world. The world’s only deaf university where classes are exclusively taught in sign language is in the US and uses ASL. The US is still not perfect in terms of deaf inclusion, but it is a step ahead of the rest of the world. 

Being in Paris has enhanced my experience particularly because of its rich history and culture, incomparable to cities in the US. It has also given me the opportunity to improve my French (an important global language) and LSF (an important root sign language for many other sign languages, including ASL). I am ecstatic to be able to improve my previous knowledge and abilities in order to better communicate with people from diverse backgrounds who do not know English, but do know French or LSF.