Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What are SAIS Bologna students doing this summer?

I wanted to get an idea of what this year's SAIS Bologna students will be doing this summer before most of them tackle a second and final year of study in Washington.

I was curious for my own sake. I also know that the breadth of their experiences says a great deal about SAIS and the doors that it can open.

It may not always be clear what a program of studies in international relations can lead to. SAIS considers itself a professional graduate school. If you want to know why, consider what a random selection of 26 students -- about 13% of the Bologna Center student body -- will be doing this summer.

Destinations: Washington, Mississippi, Beirut, Seoul, Brazil, South Africa, Brussels, Bangalore, Mexico City, New York, Nepal, Tanzania, Boston, Uganda, Rome.

Jobs at: the International Trade Administration, the Stimson Center, the World Bank, the largest biomass facility in the United States, the State Department, the U.N. Development Programme, a lobbying firm pressing for fair access to home ownership opportunities for low-income families, Bain & Company, the World Food Programme, the European Parliament, the International Finance Corporation, an NGO promoting women, the Grameen Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in Rome.

Studying Arabic in Beirut, Hindi in Brussels, Chinese in San Francisco.

Trekking to the highest lake in Nepal. Doing research in the National Archives outside Washington. Travelling and "chilling" in India and Florida. Waiting tables in Boston.

Imagine if I had spoken to the other 165 students at SAIS Bologna.

Nelson Graves

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