Being from Upstate New York, I have been lucky to move to Kansas City at a very exciting and dynamic time. Prior to my arrival here, I have lived in Galway, Ireland for about six months, and Athens, Greece for three months. These two experiences gave me the tools to make such a large jump in my geographic home. My greatest takeaway from living in these two locations was that to make it feel like home, I have to explore events in the city. Whether it be festivals, local sports, or concerts, I have not been bored for one second in this city. Moving away from family for a new opportunity is always a challenge but keeping active in the community has been the perfect way to settle in and experience the city the way I want to.

Since arriving from New York, I have been extremely fortunate to attend events across the city. From my experiences of living abroad, I knew getting active with events would lead to opportunities and a better appreciation for the city. My personal favorites so far have been the event the IRC recently held with Rajmohan Gandhi and a Chiefs-Ravens game (I am still a Bills fan though!), but these events are just the start of my experience here. Getting out into the community, I have already attended many internationally focused events and have made many friends, including my furry new roommate, six-month-old Australian Shepherd, Ellie!

As the new membership assistant at the IRC, I truly appreciate the warm welcome I have received from IRC members and Kansas Citians! I am extremely excited for this new role and I hope I get to continue to meet more members in the future.

About the Author
Jonathan Hartnett is from Upstate New York and a recent graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and History. He has an interest in foreign policy and security and is the membership assistant at the IRC.