Rotary award recipient adjusts to life in a foreign country

3/29/2007 7:00:00 AM

Despite being nearly 7,300 miles from home, Nevada graduate student Christopher Moore is feeling quite comfortable in his new, albeit temporary, home in Brisbane Australia. On Feb. 26, he arrived in Australia where he is currently attending the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Moore was named the Rotary World Peace Fellowship Award recipient in November 2005 where he was given a grant valued at nearly $70,000 to earn a master's degree in conflict resolution.

An avid reader of The Economist, Moore said he frequently flipped through the pages of the available jobs section in hopes of finding a position that would suit him. On page 63 of the June 11-17, 2005 issue there was an advertisement for a position that caught his eye, Moore said. The advertisement was for a scholarship for the Rotary World Peace Fellowships to gain a master's degree in conflict resolution.

"I thought, 'This is me. This describes me,'" Moore said.

At the time of his discovery of the scholarship, Moore was living in Carlsbad, Calif. With the deadline only a few days away, Moore flew home to Reno to speak with his professors, gather his transcripts, and get letters of recommendation.

Five months later, Moore received the news that he had been chosen for the scholarship.

"I was pretty stoked," Moore said.

Moore said he was pleased with being assigned to the University of Queensland in Australia.

"[Australia] chose me. My first choice was England, but I think it's better [in Australia]," Moore added.

There are currently Rotary Centers being hosted by eight universities in countries all over the world, including Argentina, Japan, and England.

Moore hasn't always been set on conflict resolution. While attending the University of Nevada, Reno, he initially majored in journalism. A trip to Spain through the Universities Studies Abroad Consortium program motivated Moore to seek a degree in international affairs instead. After witnessing a violent exchange between a masked ETA youth and Spanish authorities, Moore said he decided to take courses on political violence and terrorism as well as international conflict.

"I needed to understand how individuals rationalize violence and what can be done to prevent the growth of organized violent activity," Moore said.

The Rotary program continues through June 2008, though Moore will not remain in Australia for the full length of time. From November to February, Moore will be out of the country doing his applied field experience – a requirement for the program. The applied field experience allows students to pursue internships and research with the option of leaving the country. Moore said he has yet to determine where he will carry his out.

"[I will] hopefully [be] in some dangerous place," Moore said.

Moore is also looking forward to attending the first ever Rotary World Peace Symposium in Salt Lake City, this June.

Though the born and raised Renoite is far from home, Moore said it doesn't feel that way.

"I don't really feel like I'm outside North America," Moore said. "The only time I realize it is when the native birds squawk... when people say 'G'day mate,' and I'm still conditioned to look, what is here, the wrong way when crossing the road."

But Moore said he doesn't mind the changes at all.

"Now that I'm here, I think there wouldn't have been a better place to go," Moore said.


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