Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Concentrations at SAIS: Strategic Studies

The study of national security issues at SAIS dates back to the founding of the school in 1943. The Strategic Studies (STRAT) concentration specifically explores the relationship between politics and the many kinds of military power, but also includes work in closely related fields such as intelligence, cyber war, and leadership studies.

Students at SAIS Europe concentrating in STRAT familiarize themselves with diverse approaches to strategic thought from both Western and Asian perspectives. They gain this knowledge through panel discussions, student clubs, travel opportunities, and coursework such as Strategy and Policy, East Asian Security, Alliances and International Relations, and Thucydides on War. STRAT concentrators in Bologna have the opportunity to visit World War II sites and attend security conferences in Europe.

Olga Belogolova reporting in Congress (2013)
Olga Belogolova is a Strategic Studies concentrator at SAIS Europe. Below, she discusses why she chose Bologna and her specific field of study.

My interest in the Strategic Studies concentration at SAIS stems from my reporting background, my interaction with SAIS alumni and military personnel in Washington D.C., and my personal interest in national security.

Over the last four years, I have worked as a reporter covering energy policy and defense budget in D.C., interviewing policy makers and military officials in Congress and at the Pentagon.

As someone who was born in Ukraine and speaks Russian, I am further interested in pursuing a career of advancing U.S. security interests through an understanding of the Eurasian sphere.

Beyond this background, my time in Washington has also allowed me to meet a number of SAIS students and alumni, who have spoken enthusiastically about SAIS and specifically about the Strategic Studies program.

Spending my first year in Bologna, Italy gives me the opportunity to develop a better grasp of the transatlantic relationship, integral to U.S. national security. And, well, why not spend a year in Italy?

As someone who's lived in Washington for the last four years, I understand the value of getting away from the grind and getting some perspective (with the added benefit of living in the food capital of Italy).

Olga Belogolova
(SAIS Europe 2015)

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