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Andrés: Challenging His Worldview in Bologna

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After leaving the military to pursue an international career in diplomacy, Andrés applied to SAIS since he felt it was the clear choice to develop his professional skills to navigate the complex machinery of international and interagency relationships. He also wanted to build his quantitative skills and expertise to better prepare himself for a world that is increasingly dependent on data analysis and felt that SAIS’s rigorous program was the perfect program for this. On a personal note, Andrés also loves the SAIS Europe location as his dad is Sicilian and thought the chance to blend a world-class education with a year in Italy was a special opportunity for him.

Andrés has also found it exciting to engage with his peers, all of whom are drawn to SAIS Europe by a curiosity and passion for international relations. Discussions can range from upcoming travel plans to reflecting on or debating problems they will face over coffee. He has also found that the opportunity to discuss current events with diverse multi-lingual locals, professors, and fellow international students has widened and challenged his worldview. Last semester Andrés was also able to take a class on the European political systems and movements at the University of Bologna through its partnership with SAIS.

After graduating, Andrés looks forward to applying the skills he learned from his experiences at SAIS and from his peers in an international career. He plans to pursue opportunities at the intersection of security and policy, particularly with NATO or OSCE and eventually as a Foreign Service Officer.

Andrés loves Bologna and feels “the same excitement daily in Bologna that I felt when I first arrived over the summer.” He took Italian over the summer, which taught him about Bolognese history and has helped him to connect with Italians around Bologna. “Italians are so friendly, and in the proper Italian way, we have deepened those friendships over amazing food both in the city center and the surrounding hills, the colli Bolognesi.” He also loves that his daily walk to school takes him through historic palaces and medieval church complexes.

As for classes, Andrés has enjoyed Professor Sergey Radchenko’s American Foreign Policy after WWII class, which he switched into after hearing Professor Radchenko’s analysis of the Afghanistan situation during the SAIS Europe orientation. Andrés explains that Professor Radchenko is a captivating lecturer, and his first-hand experience of both the Russian and American sides of the story, as well as the Chinese side, throughout post-WWII history add incredible layers of complexity and nuance to the wide-ranging topics.

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