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The Aquilian

Students enjoy privilege of being citizens of multiple countries

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Many people have pride for their ethnic heritage and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. However, despite having rich backgrounds, most of us only claim citizenship in one nation. Dual citizenship is rather rare and is a unique trait that few people across the nation and at Gonzaga possess. Senior Jackson Taylor has dual citizenship while senior Oliver Svenburg possesses citizenship to three countries. Some novelties and perks come with having multiple citizenships.

“I am half Canadian and half American. I was born in the dry, sunny city of Dallas, Texas, but because of Canadian citizenship laws and my dad being born in Canada, I was qualified for citizenship,” Taylor said. 

Taylor enrolled as a dual citizen at a young age and travels to Canada quite often.

Dual citizen Jackson Taylor at prom

“I have a bunch of family in Canada. Most of my family lives near Quebec and a lot of them are right above Buffalo,” Taylor said. 

Taylor says that even though he is an American citizen, he feels very in touch with his Canadian heritage and citizenship. 

Like Taylor, Svenburg is proud of his rare three nation dual citizenship. 

I’m a citizen of Spain, Sweden and the U.S.,”  Svenburg said. Dual citizenship is important to me because it plays a big part in the traveling side of my family. I have a very global family.” 

The legal side of being a dual citizen can make travel very easy for those who have family in foreign countries.

“Citizenship allows me to have opportunities like studying in Europe for free,” Svenburg said, explaining the many doors that his triple citizenship open up for him that are not available for students with only one citizenship. 

Taylor recently participated in a Canadian history internship that aided in aligning him with the culture to an even further extent. Taylor not only feels as if his culture aligns well with Canada; he also spends a lot of time there and is active in the community.

Taylor’s Canadian heritage is so important to him that he plans on attending the beautiful McGill University in Quebec for the next four years to study.

“The climate, people, school and culture were all leading factors in making my decision to study in Canada,” Taylor said.

When asked about the advantages of being a dual citizen, Jackson claimed that he is able to stay more in touch with his culture. He also has the ability to use two passports and is rarely denied access to other nations due to the versatility of the passports. The ability to travel and be a part of two different cultures and nations is something that Jackson truly feels makes him unique.

Taylor has a great deal of pride for Canada, as displayed by the flag that hangs in his room. Taylor also speaks the native language and is fluent in French. 

“Speaking the language helps me feel more in touch with the culture and the Canadian people,” Taylor said.

Svenburg had similar thoughts on the language of his country. 

I had to learn the language from a young age so I could communicate with my extended family. Along with that, I speak Spanish all the time at home,” Svenburg said. 

Speaking the language of the nation can really be enforced if you are a citizen and travel there frequently, which Svenburg later reinforced.

However, Taylor did state that no matter what citizenship he has that “we are all people at the end of the day, and it is just a piece of paper.”  


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