Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Adam Goldberg

Adam Goldberg ’12 has won a Gilman Scholarship, which offers awards for undergraduate study abroad. The goal is to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy.

Culture shock: I was born in the United States but grew up in Jerusalem, Israel. At age 12 and at the height of the Second Intifada, my parents decided we would move to Seattle, Wash. The transition was a rough one, requiring I become part of a completely new culture and leave behind all that was familiar to me.

The last Buddhist Kingdom: This upcoming fall I will be studying in Bhutan. No other U.S. university or college has a program in Bhutan, the current king being a former Wheaton student. I have been awarded the Gilman International Scholarship to bring my insights to the public. Besides the academic component of the trip, I look forward to trekking through the Himalayas, living besides Bhutanese, meeting their families and studying their national language, Dzongkah.I never thought I’d be the type to be passionate about my studies, and I surprise myself at how I can’t seem to stop now.

Measuring happiness: Thanks to my professor and the Royal Thimphu College, I will likely have a practicum working in the Ministry of Education, placing me face-to-face with the immense sociopolitical change in Bhutan: the transformation from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy! One of the fundamental changes is the use of Gross National Happiness (GNH) to measure development. It is evident that those countries which are ranked the “happiest” are less likely to engage in aggression and war. What I will learn in Bhutan will go a long way toward my understanding of the social dynamics that lead to a stable, peaceful society.

Finding your passion: I never thought I’d be the type to be passionate about my studies, and I surprise myself at how I can’t seem to stop now. My education at Wheaton has taught me not to shy away from exploring and learning. While my independent major (Conflict and Social Change) has brought me deep into the fields of sociology, political science, psychology and economics, I now find myself immersed in philosophy and religion studies. Learning has become a part of my life, and I expect that academia may be in my future as well.