Moving to the U.S. as a French citizen and starting a new life from scratch taught me how to make things happen for myself. This was the hardest, and yet, most rewarding lesson I have learned during my time here. The Institute of World Politics’s (IWP) mission is exactly aligned with this purpose: educate yourself and network and connect with new people—learning has no limit. With this mission in mind to constantly pursue knowledge, I was motivated to make the most out of my time at the Institute.
Housed in a building built in 1908, the IWP campus holds a lot of history and is highly dedicated to the mission of shaping new minds for the leaders of tomorrow. Surrounded by scholar-practitioners expert in their fields, I learned about concepts such as public diplomacy and conflict resolution and applied them to different parts of the world such as the Pacific islands, China, Russia, and Latin America. These focused and targeted studies revealed global issues foreign to me prior to attending the Institute, explained and analyzed in depth the history and relations between nations, explored the different cultural practices of the world, provided me with a broader perspective, and opened my mind on resolutions to resolve conflict or tension.
I participated in two graduate courses and completed two research projects on intelligence and diplomacy. I worked closely with Dr. David Thomas and Dr. David Glancy and was taught how to draft concise, targeted memos and conduct archival research.
During the fall semester, I also worked with Christine Balling, professor at the Institute and expert in Public Diplomacy, Counterinsurgency, and Women Peace and Security. She is the founder of Colombian nonprofit organization Fundación ECCO where she promotes democracy and youth leadership in areas of conflict. I conducted an interview for a school project where she explained to me the importance of women’s roles in insurgencies. My work with her shed light on new angles crucial to look at when studying the global threat of terrorism. This is what IWP will provide you with: a kaleidoscope for each issue, big or small.
My French perspective was always valued by professors and allowed me to bring a different approach to topics, but it also taught me about the world. IWP has a beautiful way of connecting global subjects and issues to provide its students with a new and unique perspective on the world. Courses offered will sharpen your critical thinking skills by examining one particular issue through multiple lenses such as financial, political, social, geographical, geopolitical, individual, domestic, and international.
As an intern, you will also acquire a new set of vocabulary words used specifically for the professional field, and as a student, you will use these words to communicate your ideas in papers and presentations, but also connect with your audience more effectively. On a more personal level, knowledge gave me confidence within myself, but also confidence to tackle serious and complex issues; I built a mind of my own, and I explored multiple, often unstable, paths that led me to my passion for political science—more specifically diplomacy in all its forms (coercive, cultural, public…).
As a French citizen, it truly was an honor to take part in IWP’s mission. I had access to another side of history and politics. Learning in depth about America’s history, culture, intelligence agencies, political journey, values, and ideals shed light on the roots of the meaning behind what being “American” implied historically, today, and for the next years to come.
IWP Intern, Summer and Fall 2023