Pardee School Students’ Journey into the Heart of International Relations

Students from the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies recently concluded a transformative trip to the vibrant city of New York, immersing themselves in the dynamic world of international relations. Guided by Ambassador Vesko Garčević, Professor of the Practice of International Relations, alongside the Director of Career Services, Sonia Liang, and the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions, Holly Emery, Pardee School graduate students embarked on a captivating three-day journey.

During the first day, graduate students actively participated in diplomacy, visiting the missions of Bahrain, Singapore, and Slovenia. Engaging in thoughtful conversations with representatives from various countries, they set the stage for an incredible week with well-prepared questions reflecting unique global perspectives.

The second day was filled with enlightening visits to various UN agencies, including Global Communications, UNDP African Bureau, and Conflict Prevention and Peace Building. Students had the privilege of meeting with the Council for Foreign Relations and Physicians for Human Rights, gaining insights into international development, human rights, and communication for change. The day concluded with an alumni reception, fostering meaningful conversations about academic passions transitioning into professional work.

On the third day, the students’ journey continued with visits to the International Peace Institute and missions to the UN in Senegal and Costa Rica. The independent think tank, IPI, provided valuable perspectives on current issues in international relations, while the missions shed light on how small states navigate the complex global stage.

Lily Wallack, one of the graduate student participants, reflected on the trip, saying, “I especially enjoyed visiting the missions of Slovenia and Costa Rica, discussing the role of small states in International Affairs.”

Madison Jefferis, a graduate student, expressed gratitude for the opportunity: “I am very grateful for the chance to have attended Pardee’s trip to New York this year. Visiting the UN Department of Global Communications and meeting with Chief of Education Outreach, Jayashri Sarah Wyatt, was especially memorable. Learning about the ways in which the UNDGC works to engage populations globally with the work of the UN was incredibly insightful.”

Justin Dynia, another graduate student, emphasized the personal and professional value gained from the trip: “At this stage in our careers, the best thing we can do is speak directly to the people in the offices we hope to one day occupy.” Describing the trip as “lively, fun, and engaging,” he credited the wonderful experience to the hard work and commitment of Professor Vesko Garčević, staff members Holly Emery, Sonia Liang, and other Pardee staff involved in trip planning and logistics.

Xiyang Huang, a graduate student, shared valuable career advice received during the trip from Adam Lupel ’92, Vice President and COO at the International Peace Institute (IPI): “For young people interested in international affairs and working for the UN, don’t focus on the headquarters first. Get out there and get field experience. It’s highly valuable.” Notably, Adam Lupel is a Pardee alumnus.

The trip culminated in an inspiring keynote speech by Costa Rica’s Ambassador to the UN, Maritza Chan Valverde, emphasizing the impactful role small nations can play on the global stage.

Professor Vesko Garčević expressed his satisfaction with the trip, stating, “Is there anything better than spending time with young, smart, intellectually curious, and inspiring people? I enjoyed every moment of our trip to NYC.”

This immersive experience has undoubtedly equipped Pardee School students with a deeper understanding of global affairs, providing them with the inspiration and knowledge needed to contribute meaningfully to the field of international relations and diplomacy as they continue their academic journeys.