Oryza Astari Furman University

Class of 2016
Hometown: Greenville, S.C.

I moved to Greenville from Indonesia. As someone from a developing country, it's very interesting to see the difference between the two political systems.

Life as a Political Science Major

  • Why did you decide to come to Furman?

      The liberal arts component was a big part of it. I was also attracted to it because it's in Greenville. I feel like whatever I do here will directly benefit where I live.

  • Why did you decide to be a Political Science major?

      I moved to Greenville from Indonesia. As someone from a developing country, it's very interesting to see the difference between the two political systems. I see how things work here and wonder why they don't work where I'm from. Through my education at Furman, I hope to give back to my home country.

  • Best experience in the department:

      Taking Introduction to Political Thought. That definitely changed my life- it's why I became a philosophy major. It made me see that there's more to government than just politics.

  • Favorite professor:

      Dr. Benjamin Storey and Dr. Elizabeth Smith. Dr. Storey taught my Introduction to Political Thought class, and Dr. Smith is my advisor.

  • Career goals:

      I hope to attend to law school after Furman, but I don't plan on becoming an attorney. I want to use my law degree to work for a non-governmental organization or become a diplomat. I want to focus on a career in international relations and human rights.

  • Research experience:

      I'm interning with the Riley Institute, and help with the Diversity Leaders Initiative. What I do on a daily basis is mostly administrative, but I've had a chance to meet some of Upstate South Carolina's leaders and see what they're doing to help the region.

Best of List

Helpful Tips

  • Choosing a major:

      I definitely suggest taking as many introductory courses in the programs you're interested in. I came in thinking I wanted to be an economics major, but chose political science because I found my favorite classes in that department. Keep an open mind, and don't come in thinking about one thing. That's the best way to go with a liberal arts education.

  • Studying:

      Do it ahead of time. I always give myself a week to study before tests.

  • Getting involved on campus:

      Go to the Activities Fair to see the different organizations. It's also a good idea to talk to your resident advisor, first-year advisor (FRAD) and everyone on your hall. If you meet someone who has the same interests, it's easier to go to a club meeting than going alone.

  • Making friends:

      Definitely start with your hall. I made friends just by being brave and talking to people in classes. When I go to the dining hall, I also like to table hop so I can meet new people. If you see one person you know with five people you don't know, just be brave and put yourself out there.

  • What isn't in the brochure:

      The rigor of the academics. I didn't expect Furman to be as hard as it was as a freshman. Furman emphasizes a lot about engaged learning and diversity, but more than engaged learning, it's important to emphasize that academics are serious.

  • Living on campus:

      Leave your door open and get to know your hall mates. You'll be surprised at the people that you end up bonding with and the relationships you keep beyond your freshman year. I'm still really close to my freshman hall mates.


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