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Colin: Searching for International Perspectives at SAIS Europe

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When looking into graduate schools, Colin looked to two close friends and personal guides. Wanting to follow in their footsteps, Colin chose to attend SAIS. He was also drawn to SAIS because it has one of the most international student cohorts of any American university, and he knew that diverse perspectives are essential to receiving the most valuable international relations education. SAIS Europe, where Colin is spending his first year, hosts students from nearly fifty different countries and with numerous different educational and professional backgrounds, each with their own unique perspectives.

Colin’s favorite experience happened outside of SAIS during the first few weeks when students were still getting to know one another. Over dinner, they “dove into a deep conversation about the role of climate migration and undersea internet cables in global stability and the conversation ended with a made-up game of ‘love is blind’ but with historical characters.” He has loved getting to know and connecting with his peers, which he felt he would not have been able to do at a part-time program.

At SAIS, Colin is a member of the Student Government, and his current project is designing, buying, selling, and distributing SAIS apparel and merchandise. He credits this as a terrific learning experience and a chance for him to build something that serves the overall community. It has also helped him better understand his own professional goals since it has helped him to realize that he needs ownership and creativity in his career. As Colin puts it: “You can really find life insights in any past time at this school if you just put yourself into it.”

Before SAIS, Colin worked on global affairs for a large American research university and saw just how international and intertwined the American university had become. He also saw “how much U.S. foreign policy thought regarding innovation and talent mobility was almost completely at odds with university thought.” Though he has not yet figured out in what capacity, after SAIS, Colin wants to work to bring these two communities into the conversation as communicating across that boundary is essential to 21st century American strength.

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