Greg Siems '12

North Liberty, Iowa
Russian studies and political science

J-Term abroad:  Greg went to Norway and Russia to learn more about each country’s culture and history. “I especially appreciate that we got to see the Birkebeiner Olympic Ski Stadium in Lillehammer and State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and Red Square in Moscow.”

Initial draw to Luther: "Both of my parents are grads and I always felt comfortable being here, " says Greg. "Those two factors made me feel like I was making a good decision."

When Greg first came to Luther, he knew he needed to fulfill a language requirement.  

He could have taken a Spanish course (he studied it in high school and did well). Instead he signed up for Beginning Russian to try something different.

Turns out, the Russian language was easy for him to learn, too.  In fact, he liked it so much he decided to make it one of his majors.

“I think Russian studies is a natural fit with political science,” says Greg. “It’s a good combination considering I might want to work for the government or in international business.”

One of his favorite events that relates to his fields of study is Model United Nations (UN), an annual conference held in Chicago. “It’s a gathering that focuses on creating an academic simulation of the United Nations,” he says. “Our role as Luther students is to act as diplomats for a specific country. We research topics that are presented, write a paper on our position, interact, give speeches, and write resolutions. It’s really been a great learning experience.”

Greg believes Luther offers lots of opportunities in which students can grow as people. “The fact that I’ve taken classes outside my initial interests and comfort zone have really helped me learn a lot about myself and will definitely shape my future.”