Sara Sanabria

Name: Sara Sanabria (Alumni)

Hometown and Country: Born in Bogotá, Colombia and grew up in Calgary, Canada.

Degrees Completing at UBC Sciences Po: Double Major in Political Science and International Relations.

Embracing Dual Cultural Identity

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, and growing up in Calgary, Canada, Sara’s unique cross cultural upbringing is an aspect of her identity that she has often grappled with. The question of “Who Am I?” would often fill her thoughts, as she would feel that she was neither fully Colombia nor fully Canadian. Sara found herself in a constant limbo between two cultures.

Through her studies in the Dual Degree, Sara felt supported in learning how to adequately express and embrace her dual cultural identity. She attributes it to the rich network of classmates that came from diverse backgrounds in her cohort, and studying on the highly multicultural campus of UBC, where Sara for the first time, would not be questioned for her dual identity. She realized that being Colombian and Canadian do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Cross Cultural Dual Degree is Eye-Opening 

Since the age of 14, Sara dreamed of moving to Europe to pursue her adult life. When choosing her post-secondary studies, she was instantly drawn to the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree, which gives students the opportunity to earn two BA degrees while studying in France and Canada. Over her four years of studies in the Dual Degree, Sara shares that “the duality of the program, where one can experience education in Europe and North America will open your eyes to what is out there. The Dual Degree incorporates international learning, and draws on global perspectives.” The ability to study, and graduate from Europe and Canada also allows for students to have the security of both homebases.

One of Sara’s biggest highlights in the program was being able to travel across Europe, which she considers as a huge privilege. Sara fondly recalls, “We could get super cheap tickets to visit Morocco in-between studying!”

An afternoon in Prague. December 2017.


A weekend getaway to Morocco. November 2018.

Istanbul in the spring. March 2018.


Balancing Studies and Work Experience in a Supportive Atmosphere
Sara complemented her studies in the Dual Degree with work and extra-curricular experiences. On the Reims campus in France, Sara was the Undersecretary of General of the International Model United Nations, and the Editor of the Travel Section for the student journal, Sundial Press. In the latter two years of the program at UBC, Sara continued her work with student research journals as the Managing Editor for the UBC Journal of Political Studies. Sara’s interest in undergraduate academic journals was inspired by the UBC Sciences Po course ASTU 260: Knowledge Dissemination: Communicating Research to Public Audiences. She shares how professor Dave Gaertner emphasized the importance of taking other voices seriously in the dissemination of knowledge, and to support undergraduate work and research.

Sara worked as a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education through the UBC WorkLearn program, which Sara describes to be an incredible option for students interested in gaining meaningful work experiences on campus. In her role, Sara learned and performed data collection methods, literature reviews, life maps, sat in on focus groups and activities, and worked on transcription tasks.

The Reims delegation at the Oxford International Model United Nations

Representing Portugal at a RIMUN mini-MUN event

The Managing Editor, Sara, and the Editor-In-Chief of the JPS, Elif Kayali

Golden hour at Wreck Beach during the first weekend of the Dual BA summer school


Led to Current Postgraduate Studies in International Arbitration Law
After graduating in May 2020, Sara will be pursuing postgraduate studies at McGill University in the Faculty of Law. She hopes her law degree will take her into the field of International Arbitration Law; which is an area of law that Sara only learned about through her studies in the Dual Degree. She also shares how the UBC Sciences Po degree helped with her graduate school application, as the program’s French and English language, French and Canadian context parallels aligned with the duality of the McGill University law degree.

“Work hard, travel harder.” – Sara Sanabria