Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines 2013 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges
The Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges was an excellent 2 weeks of intensive classes on International Affairs and Global Governance. With lectures and workshops facilitated by high-profile practitioners and professionals in the field, I was endowed with the unique opportunity to listen and learn from the experts’ knowledge in both theory and practice. It is both an honour and a privilege to have been selected for the programme. Rarely does someone get the chance to spend the amount of time I had with such a diverse group of people, both in academic foundation and cultural affiliation. From passionate discussions with my colleagues on relevant socio-political issues, to simple day-to-day conversations that has afforded me to learn more about 18 other individuals and appreciate the beauty of their culture, the Winter Programme has helped me gain and build solid cross-cultural friendships.
Alongside the success of all the activities was a warm, accommodating and quite endearing staff that made my stay indeed even more pleasant. They were very hands-on and were always ready to give assistance to all our questions and needs. I feel extremely grateful for their graciousness.
Up to date, everything still pales into comparison with the wonderful learning experience I had with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Travelling halfway across the globe was definitely worth it. Such has led me to aspire and apply for the Institute’s Masters Programme in International Affairs for next year’s term, and to keep pursuing my goals with a career in International Affairs. I would recommend the Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges to anyone who is interested in broadening their insights and in cultivating and honing their knowledge in Global Governance.
Bachelor in Economics and European Union Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand 2013 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges
When I applied for the 2013 Winter Programme at the Graduate Institute, I expected the quality of classes to be excellent, and to establish a foundation in international affairs. But the extra-curricular aspect of both the Winter Programme, and the Graduate Institute in general, completely took me by surprise.
I was fortunate to be selected for the programme alongside 18 other students, from all around the world, for two weeks of intensive classes. My fellow participants were of varying backgrounds - undergraduate to PhD students, literature majors to practicing lawyers - and I was one of few who spoke the course language (English) as a mother tongue. The Graduate Institute must have an ingenious selection process, as I have never seen a group of people all become such close friends, so quickly. The majority of us had the pleasure to stay at the newly opened Edgar de Picciotto Student House, which was a core part of the experience. We would take the short walk to Villa Rigot each morning for classes, and dine together in the evening with our
very own social events coordinator - a masters student at the Graduate Institute.
In addition to scheduled events, such as dinner with the UN Chef de Cabinet, Joshua Lincoln, and excursions to the Palais des Nations and UNHCR, optional weekend events were also offered - such as day trips to France or the Swiss Mountains. The programme staff at the Graduate Institute were genuinely welcoming. The limited number of students selected for the course enabled us to feel truly looked after by the staff, and not lost within a large student body. We were given advice for future study or careers within the UN system, and many of the lecturers were keen to personally help individual students secure internships or academic opportunities after the completion of the course.
I would recommend the Winter Programme to absolutely anyone interested in receiving expert and unique insight, at the centre of global governance, whilst forging long-lasting friendships, and having a once-in-a-life-time experience. You may even bump into our "class of 2013" reunion, eating up a storm at the Bar les Brasseurs (of course).
China, University of Bristol, M.S. in International Relations
2012 Summer Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance
As a student in international relations, I have to say that this institute is always my dreamy place to study. And this summer, I was so lucky to have a fantastic short-stay here. There are three words that may describe this summer programme: intense, professional and interesting. The past three-weeks programme was really intense. We had morning lectures given by well-known professors, passionate discussions in afternoon workshop and wonderful visits to international organizations.
Before I started this programme, I looked at the syllabus everyday and tried to figure out what would I learn. And now I can say what I gained here exceeded my expectations. The lecturers were from different backgrounds, including professors, UN officers and researchers. They were able to transmit their knowledge, passion and interests to us and provided a comprehensive overview about climate changes, international migration, international security and the relevance between those three topics. Besides, I love the question time and class discussion because I could finally have the chance to discuss some interesting arguments with professors and it always deepens my knowledge and gives me new thoughts from different perspectives.
Finally, I met some awesome colleagues and super-nice teachers here, who made this summer programme more interesting! Even though the participants here had diverse backgrounds, we share same interests in international affairs and our multiple opinions enriched the class. More importantly, I would like to thank the faculty and staffs here. They were so nice, thoughtful, interesting, dedicated and gave me some advice on my future study. I just love this institute and those teachers! They are the greatest value of this summer programme!
Bachelor in International Relations, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Brazil 2012 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges
The Winter Programme on the UN and Global Challenges was overall an incredible learning experience. We were few students, from very different countries and regions, with the opportunity of getting to know and study in one of the most international and multicultural cities in the world.
The first week gave us a clear idea of how the UN bodies and other International Organizations work, focusing on very current and important issues in the multilateral setting. On the second week, we were given more freedom to develop our own projects and ideas, specifically in the areas of development, security or human rights. The professors were simply outstanding, and their diverse backgrounds and areas of knowledge stimulated comprehensive and engaging discussions. Other than this, the course's organization promoted a series of social events for the students, that contributed for us to better know one another and to get to know the city and its surroundings.
All in all the course was a valuable and unforgettable experience in every aspect, allowing us to expand our minds on the most fundamental issues of current international relations.
Bachelor of Environments, Urban Design & Planning, Melbourne, Australia 2012 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges
The Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges, gave me fundamental knowledge regarding international communities and the skills to analyze multilateral relationships. Moreover, thanks to the excellent programme, passionate lecturers and wonderful colleagues, I gained great confidence in striving towards my life ambition of working for the United Nations.
The design of the programme was very unique in the way that people from different disciplinary background can fully participate. Coming from an urban planning background, I was nervous in beginning classes regarding international relations and political science. However, since all the topics started with a comprehensive introduction and explicit explanation of issues, I could actively engage in the discussions and appreciate all classes.
It was amazing how passionate the lecturers were in educating the students in this programme. They remained in the classroom after lectures and during breaks in order to answer all kind of questions. Besides their professional knowledge and experience, I was impressed when they shared their belief in international cooperation. In addition to curriculum and academics, the interaction with colleagues was another advantage of the programme. All participants come from different parts of the world. The diversity of students enabled us to have great discussions. Personally, I was fortunate to meet students from Latin America, which gave me whole new insight into diplomatic history. The two weeks in Geneva allowed for me to learn the importance of having a space or platform for discussion, where different ideas and interests meet together.
Master of International Relations, Geneva School of Diplomacy 2011 Summer Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance
When I signed up for the Summer Programme in International affairs and Multilateral Governance, my goal was solely to refresh my knowledge of international issues related to the fields of Environment, Migration and Humanitarian affairs. I was eager to participate in interactive workshops and debates lead by a team of experts and pool of field practitioners.On the last week, I realized how much the progamme surpassed my expectations and greatly impacted my life.Not only did I learn from the presentations and workshops, I had also been able to connect with a large pool of international candidates who shared a same vision. For me, exchanging ideas and knowledge with graduates,professionals and diplomats from all over the world was truly beneficial. The programme was a great place to build solid friendships and extend my professional network.
It was such a memorable experience that I wished It would not have ended so fast.
I feel extremely grateful for having been given the incredible opportunity to be part of the programme and I certainly would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in International Affairs in the relaxing and beautiful scenery of Geneva.
Database/ M&E Officer, International Organization for Migration, Nairobi, Kenya 2011 Summer Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance
I decided to participate in the Summer Program in International Affairs and Multilateral Governance to cement and enrich many of the concepts to which I have been exposed during the past 4 years of intense engagement with migrant communities in East Africa. The program was such an eye opener on global issues that are gripping our world, introduced in a thematic, hands-on and case-based approach. I was highly satisfied with the content of the classes and the overall organization of the seminar facilitated by renowned experts. The intensive 3 weeks seminar also gave me an opportunity to meet young professionals just like myself and debate a host of issues ranging from the economics of migration to global warming. Coming from a nontraditional backgound, engineering, I believe that the program offerd me a solid foundation and teased my interest just enough so that I can now confidently contribute to discussions of international nature and enhance my prospects for graduate studies.
Research Analyst, Global Agenda Councils - World Economic Forum
2011 Summer Program WTO, International Trade and Development
The Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development has been a great learning experience for me, both at the professional and personal level. The programme is well designed and provides three very valuable perspectives on the issue: a strong trade theory background, insights on more practical aspects, including the inner workings of the WTO, and reflections on the connection between trade and other issues such as agriculture, intellectual property or climate change. The very strong academic cast put together by the Graduate Institute generally strikes a good balance between these different themes. Beyond the lectures, the workshops in smaller groups opened deeper discussions on specific topics and provided opportunities to interact directly with the professors.
The diversity among the participants is both a strong asset and a challenge of this Programme. Arguably the most impressive achievement of the Graduate Institute is that, by cleverly mixing the above-mentioned themes, it provides participants with different levels of previous knowledge with new thought-provoking insights throughout the course. The good mix of participants, including young professionals, experienced trade practitioners and students from all over the world makes up not only for very stimulating debates but also for a highly enjoyable atmosphere and some memorable moments on the shores of Lake Geneva.
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement
P.O.Box 136, 1211 Geneva 21 - T +41 22 908 57 00 - firstname.lastname@example.org