Participants' Testimonials

New Testimonials about the 2017 Summer Programmes

Michelle Luu and Ifunanya Enezuagu


Natasha Irisarri Lolin


Zubin Malhotra

His journey since the 2014 Winter Programme.


Aditi Verghese

How the Graduate Institute's Summer Programme helped Aditi Verghese, Master candidate in International Law, become an international trade lawyer.



Lauren-Shapiro.pngLauren Shapiro

B.A. in English and Political Science, University of Pennsylvania. USA.
Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development

"I am back in Washington DC and I just wanted to thank you for helping facilitate a wonderful summer program on Trade and Development. This program was such a unique and intellectually exciting experience. I am so glad I got to participate in it right before I start a practice support position in an American law firm’s international trade and investment practice. Everyone at the Graduate Institute was so welcoming and accommodating to us international students, and between the coursework, speakers, social events, and staff touring tips, I feel as though I got a comprehensive and rich view of Geneva during my stay. Again, thank you for your incredible hospitality and support during our time at the Institute, and I will certainly recommend the program to my former Penn classmates and colleagues."



Photo_Rachael_Mackie_small.jpgRachael Mackie

Bachelor of Arts in Security, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. Bachelor of Arts (Honours) International Relations and Political Studies. Australia.
Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges

"The mix of students, experience, and nationalities was wonderfully diverse and made for an amazing start to what has undoubtedly been one of the most profound two weeks of my academic and professional life to date.

The scope of topics, mixed with the diversity of our group made for lively participation, discussion, and an overall deepening of knowledge. The programme had a balanced mix of lectures, talks, group work, tours, and even a mock General Assembly Negotiation!

What was most appealing about the course, I found however, was that each topic was delivered by individuals who had a broad and often personal experience within their field. From actual or former United Nations delegates, to heads of NGOs, to academia, the combined expertise and knowledge of all speakers was exceptional.

The individuals that made up our collective are amazingly inspirational each in their own way. I honestly believe that in some way each and everyone one of us will strive to make a positive difference in this world and in large part this is due to the Graduate Institute and their programmes. I expect the relationships formed over the two weeks will likely last a life-time. Whether you are just starting out with a little understanding or whether you have a wealth of experience and expertise, the Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges caters well for both, and everything in between. I am honoured to have been considered worthy to have been included within this company of great minds. I am so grateful for having had this opportunity and for such a wonderful life experience. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take hold of this with both hands and never look back."


Elise Maarschalkerweerd.jpgElise Maarschalkerweerd

Bachelor of Humanistic Studies, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2014 Summer Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance
2016 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges

"The experiences I have had at the Graduate Institute have been of untold value to me. I consider myself lucky to have been involved in both the Summer program on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance as the winter program on the United Nations and Global Challenges.

On arrival at the institute we were warmly welcomed by Eliane and her colleagues, who also took excellent care of us during the programs. Not only inside the institute, but also they would join us on/in our visits to the UN and UNHCR, they organized social events and offered support in unfortunate circumstances such as illness.

The quality of the courses is something I have not experienced before. Expert lecturers from all over the globe were asked to share their knowledge and give workshops. Not only did they do so in an exceptional manner, they were also extremely enthusiastic and inspirational. What I liked most was the space given for interaction. You are encouraged to ask questions, to comment or to critique during lectures. This made me feel like I was a true part of the program and boosted my confidence.

Participants were from mixed backgrounds, from bachelor students to professionals, which was a great foundation to learn from each others different experiences, values and upbringing. Also it functioned, and still does, as an academic and social support base. Almost two years after my first program I am still in touch with some of them.

Long story short, I would recommend the Graduate Institute Geneva to any individual who is driven to expand their knowledge and network and already works or is interested to work in the relevant fields."


wen-hu.jpgWen Hu

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (International Journalism), China
2016 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges

"I am a senior undergraduate and hope to pursue my Master’s degree in International Affairs. The Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges at IHEID offers both academic and professional opportunities: Lectures cover almost all major fields of United Nations and discuss current global challenges such as terrorism, migration, and climate change; the unique location of IHEID provides participants with a professional experience in the UN. I successfully obtained an internship at UNCTAD through this winter programme network."


MariaMaría Vergaray

Degree in Economics, Universidad del Pacifico (Lima, Peru)
2015 Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development

"As an economist that is focused on trade and development, I have always been interested in study and work in Geneva, and now, after an integral experience in the Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, I am firmly convinced that this wonderful city is the right place to be part of the most updated and real discussions in international affairs; and the Graduate Institute, the best academic institution to pursue an international career.

I feel really honoured of have been part of an amazing and challenging group of 27 people, coming from more than 15 different countries, with a diversity of high academic and professional backgrounds, who shared my interests and passions of get involved in trade and development discussions.

The Programme was smartly structured in such a way that caught our total attention from the very beginning of the sessions, providing a general, but at the same time, deep presentation of the main policies, economic and law provisions that constructed the foundations of the multilateral trading system; followed by specialized lectures linked with trade and development like investment, market access, protectionism, labour, financial scandals, social clauses in RTAs, among others.

The main comparative advantage of this Programme has been the selected lecturers for each session, not only for their high-level academic profile, but also for their professional experience as international policy makers, coming from the places where the negotiations, decisions and agreements are really made.  I had never imagined that I would debate with a famous economist, like Richard Baldwin, a deputy director of the WTO, a WTO ambassador who chaired the General Council, a counsellor of the WTO Secretariat or a head of unit of ILO, UNCTAD and many others renowned experts in international trade and development. This experience has reinforced my interest in international trade and development and my wish to pursue my Master studies at the Graduate Institute of Geneva.

I strongly encourage those who are interested in international affairs, trade and development to take this opportunity of having an international academic experience here. Thank you Graduate Institute. Thank you Geneva. Thank you my dear friends!"

Mariana-Rosales.jpgMariana Rosales

Licentiate in International Relations, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
2015 Summer Programme on the WTO, International Trade and Development

"Because of the prestige of the Graduate Institute, I had pretty high expectations for this course, but could never have imagined to what extent the reality was going to surpass them.
The close relationship between the Graduate Institute, the UN and the WTO permits unimaginable access to top-level experts, who gave interesting and entertaining lectures. It is not only the high-level openness and preparation of every single one of the carefully selected instructors, it is also about the excellent quality and marvellous location of the facilities. The kindness and warmth of the staff makes you feel at home away from home, all of this while acquiring a useful new academic perspective. This is Swiss precision at its finest, while enjoying a marvellous summer in the beautiful, multicultural and historic city of Geneva.
The participants, who came from a plethora of geographical and professional backgrounds, freely shared their different views on the subjects. Some of them, hopefully, will become friends for life, since after this wonderful experience those interested in pursuing a masters, like myself, are certain to apply. I am personally convinced that if I am fortunate enough to be admitted to the competitive Masters in International Relations, it will allow me to acquire valuable knowledge to further my career as a diplomat by improving my political analysis skills. It would be an important step to fulfil greater academic goals in the near future.
I will treasure this experience for years to come and would not hesitate to recommend it."



OLSEN-Julian.jpgJulian Olsen

Australia, Deakin University, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations
Australian National University, Bachelor of International Relations

2015 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges

"The Graduate Institute of Geneva has an excellent reputation and, after completing the Winter Programme, I can definitely see why. Before the course even started, they had organised a social event to get to know each other. The excitement in the room was palpable. We were from different countries and professions, but were all looking forward to studying in International Geneva.

Over the course of the two weeks, we had a series of lectures, workshops and visits to the UNHCR and the UN Headquarters. We heard from a lot of interesting academics and professionals who were clearly amongst the top of their fields. The classes were engaging, relevant and incredibly informative.

I would recommend the Graduate Institute’s Summer and Winter programmes to anyone with a passion for international affairs and development."



Gabriel Borda - profile b&w.jpgGabriel Borda

Bachelor in Law, Pontifícia Universidade
Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-­Rio)

2014 Summer Programme on International
Affairs and Multilateral Governance

"Being at The Graduate Institute is something that makes you feel proud. Every morning, while walking from where I was staying to the campus, I had that sense of how privileged I was for being there. From the first moments of the programme we could already feel a friendly environment promoted by every staff member. It was clear that they truly wanted to deliver a remarkable experience, as it certainly was. The speakers and professors were all high-level professionals with a lot of experience in their respective fields, and something that really impressed me was the open and engaging approach that made us feel comfortable to discuss the topics from different perspectives. That was also a possibility because of the active multicultural group of participants, having students coming from every continent.

During the programme we had different types of sessions: workshops, simulations, group discussions and the more classic lectures as well. We also had the opportunity to visit institutions like the Red Cross and the UNHCR, giving us a taste of the daily dynamics and challenges faced when working with international issues. The Institute is located just a few steps from the United Nations, and there are a lot of advantages on being surrounded by so many international agencies. Well, at the first week there was a big event at The Institute with all those great names speaking at the same night, and those moments make you realize that you are at the right place to pursue an international career.

The programme was not only one of my best academic experiences, but I also had a lot of fun. We had nice social activities to relax, enjoy the summer and get to know the other participants. It was a special group that I carry with great care in my memories. Life is all about people, and I’m thankful that The Institute gets to be a place where people can learn, share ideas, work and innovate together. I came home excited to keep on working hard, seeking knowledge and developing my skills, and I surely want to keep pursuing my goals at The Graduate Institute."


Maude Jodoin-Léveillée.JPGMaude Jodoin-Léveillée

Bachelor Études internationales, Université de Montréal
2014 Winter Programme on the United Nations and Global Challenges

"Un programme complet qui aborde sous une multitude de perspectives la problématique de la gouvernance mondiale. Il offre aussi un bon équilibre entre la vision théorique et plus pratique du travail de l’ONU grâce à la présence de conférenciers autant du milieu universitaire que professionnel. C’est un programme que je conseille à tous ceux intéressés par la gouvernance mondiale de près ou de loin. Et plus que ça, c’est une expérience inspirante où l’on rencontre des jeunes  de toutes les régions du monde, de différents profils, mais qui partagent toute une passion pour l’international et qui par-dessus désirent tous faire une différence dans le monde."



Johannes-Hadi.jpegJohannes Hadi

Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), University College London, United Kingdom
2013 Summer Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance

"The Summer Programme on International Affairs and Multilateral Governance conducted by the Graduate Institute in Geneva is by far one of the most positive educational experiences I’ve had the privilege of having thus far.
The lectures given by eminent academics and practitioners were intellectually stimulating and offered an invaluable glimpse into the field of study – from both a conceptual and practical perspective. But perhaps the best part of the programme was the people it attracted. On the course, I had the pleasure and privilege of making friends with people from all over the world and various walks of life. The friendships we made, and the many debates and conversations we had by the beautiful Lake Geneva on the lawn in front of the Villa Barton, remains the highlight of the programme for me personally. It was exciting and humbling to be exposed to so many different perspectives and individual opinions at once, and this undoubtedly contributed to the intellectual richness of the course. My classmates’ intelligence and passion for contemporary issues relevant to the international community was also enlightening and infectious.
Also, the programme was very well planned and organized by the staff of the Graduate Institute. From pre-departure tips, to arranging afternoon trips to the UN, and to social events in the evenings, the staff were absolutely professional and never failed to have smiles on their faces as they went the extra mile to help us feel at home at the Graduate Institute.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is thinking of gaining a broader understanding about complex global issues and who is up to being challenged intellectually by leading academics and practitioners in the field. My experience at the Graduate Institute has been nothing but positive and I leave with nothing but excellent memories of my time there."