Category Archives: Global Programs

What Language Should I Study?

“To prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries, Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages.”  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 8 December 2010.

While learning a second language is linked with a number of different benefits, including slowing brain aging, improving multitasking abilities, and the acquisition of another language, this somewhat elides the question of which language should one study for a career in public administration or international relations? Continue reading

Boren, CLS, and Fulbright, Oh My!

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Logo

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Logo

On Thursday, August 21, the PAIA department was happy to host Professor Susan Wadley to speak about the Boren Fellowship, the Critical Language Scholarships, and the Fulbright Scholarship programs.  These opportunities, funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs,   are of primary interest to students pursuing work that will take them overseas, there is an increasing need for professionals working on domestic issues to be able to understand best practices among international policy professionals.  Since the Application Period for 2015 -2016 Boren Fellowships just opened, it seems appropriate to speak about this now. Continue reading

How to Make Your DoS Internship Stand Out!

On Friday, we spoke about State Department Internships, what they are and how they can benefit graduate students.  Now, since the Department’s internship application opens today, I thought it would be good to talk about how to make your application stand out and secure the internship placement that fits your strengths. Continue reading

Interning with the Department of State

Seal of the US State Department

Seal of the US State Department

Each year, the MAIR program has a number of students pursue internships with the U.S. Department of State at home and abroad.  The class that entered in 2013 could count among their number students who worked in the US Embassy in Cyprus, the US Embassy in the Philippines, US Embassy in Singapore as well as colleagues in the bureaus of African Affairs, Conflict and Stabilization OperationsInternational Security and Non-Proliferation, and Population, Refugees and Migration. Since the Department’s Internship Application will open on Monday, September 2, 2014 and close on October 17, 2014, those of you interested in the opportunity will need to work quickly to make sure that your application materials are submitted on time. More information about State Department Internships is below the fold. Continue reading

Nitika Sethi – Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM)

GRAAM workers in the field

Preparing the District Human Development Report
Source: Graam.org.in

Ms. Nitika Sethi is a dual-degree student studying International Relations and Public Administration.

I spent 11 weeks in Mysore, India working for the Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM). GRAAM is a policy initiative of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) nonprofit organization. The GRAAM team works to develop research and advocacy agendas to influence all levels of policy in response to the widespread grassroots efforts of SVYM in public health, education, governance, and rural development. Continue reading

Darci Pauser – Boren Fellowship and Critical Language Scholarships for Turkey

Turkish Street Scenes by Darci Pauser

Turkish Street Scenes.
Credit: Darci Pauser

This interview with Boren Fellow and CLS Scholar Darci Pauser (MPA/IR) is republished from the Fall 2013 Middle East Studies Program Newsletter.  Thank you to the MESP program for the republication permission.

Why are you interested in Turkey?

My interest in Turkey is actually somewhat of a coincidence. When I was 17 years old, I was attending community college and studying anthropology, and was working as a babysitter. One woman I worked for asked me to accompany the family on a three-week trip to Turkey to visit relatives. It was the first country I had been to outside the U.S. and I was completely enamored. And as a student of anthropology, I took great interest in the Turkish language and culture. When I transferred to the University of California at Berkeley the next year, I began my study of the Turkish language. Continue reading

Greg Flatow – Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability

During the fall semester of 2013, I participated in an internship program with the Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS). I completed this internship while taking intensive Arabic courses at the University of Tunis Carthage.

University of Tunis - Carthage

University of Tunis – Carthage
Photo: Greg Flatow

My internship provided me with a forum to practice my newly acquired language skills, while simultaneously affording me the opportunity to gain professional work experience with an international organization. Due to my experiences at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, which provided me with the necessary skillset to engage in an internship organization, I was able to actively participate in my internship program and enhance the productivity of my organization.

My activities at TAMSS varied significantly throughout the semester, and I have been utilized on an as-needed basis by the different offices in the organization. My first project entailed constructing information packets for Tunisians in the informal economy. Many Tunisians are not cognizant of the robust labor code in Tunisia and the governmental programs established to help informal workers enter formal employment. My objective was to summarize the benefits of formal employment in a concise document that could later be translated into Arabic.

I also worked on the Women in Democracy project, which focuses on augmenting Tunisians’ knowledge on democratic practices and preparing Tunisians for the upcoming elections. Local volunteers collected surveys on the population’s knowledge and interest in democratic affairs, and I worked with TAMSS employees to compile the data.

Additionally, I assisted a colleague with a research project on female entrepreneurship. Her intent is to analyze trends in the post-Arab Spring era, including the rise of Islamism and a more democratic government, in order to assess the impact that these changes have on female entrepreneurs. She is an American professor without a background in Arabic, and I assisted her in translating Arabic surveys and entering data into Excel spreadsheets.

My studies at the Maxwell School have pertained to security and foreign affairs, and it is my desire to acquire a governmental position that relates to these concentrations. I believe that many governmental agencies actively seek individuals who have previously engaged in international work and language studies. Through my work at TAMSS, I worked on various projects in the organization (some of which are funded by the US State Department), gained potential references for future job applications, and proved my ability to work in a foreign environment. It is my hope that this experience will provide a bridge to a desirable job in the future.

Matt Podolak – Converse Trading Company, Singapore

Just a pair of Chuck's

Converse’s most famous product
Source: Wikipedia

In the summer of 2013 I was hired by the Converse Trading Company to work in their finance section as an intern. I was assigned was to develop a database that would organize, track, manage, and provide data for projections/analysis in regard to their retail business return operations. Continue reading

Seth Binder – Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

Project on Middle East Democracy

Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

This story was submitted by Seth Binder, who completed his graduate IR degree in the fall of 2013.

As part of the MAIR requirements, I participated in Syracuse’s Washington D.C., Global Security and Development Program (GSDP). This opportunity provided an array of course options and an endless number of internship possibilities in the DC area. Continue reading

Aaron Eisenbarth – European University at St. Petersburg

Aaron Eisenbarth and the Russian cruiser Aurora

Aaron in St. Petersburg in front of the Russian ship Aurora. Photo: Aaron Eisenbarth

Aaron Eisenbarth is a graduate student in international relations and public administration.  In spring 2014, he is completing his studies in Syracuse.

For the fall semester of my second year, I chose to study Energy Politics abroad at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia. The program is fairly new, but the overall experience was quite good. Professors were capable and the school brought in high-level politicians and representatives of large energy companies on a regular basis to complement the curriculum. My cohort of fifteen showed a strong interest in the subject and in terms of background and work experience was more diversified than the public-sector orientation of Maxwell. This made for rich conversations that included more private sector voices than per usual at Maxwell.

I walked away with a large amount of new knowledge and a number of skills. For instance, a general understanding of European-Russian relations, the basics of Russia Foreign Policy and some basic energy research skills that will help my career. The program provided a surprisingly robust Russian learning program as well. I spoke Russian at an intermediate-high/advanced-low level before starting the program and they provided six hours of group tutoring a week. Speaking Russian is not a requirement of the program and will not be a barrier to having a good experience at the university.

Life in St. Petersburg was pretty good and affordable if you shop around for an apartment or choose to commute into the city center. The university does a good job of providing students with information regarding possible living arrangements as well as help in other aspects of St. Petersburg life. It is a beautiful city with plenty of obvious and non-obvious activities in which to partake. Navigating the city as a foreigner can be taxing at times, but there are helpful, English-speaking locals to help you should you need it. If you are unaccustomed to the darkness that a St. Petersburg winter solstice brings with it be sure to bring some vitamin D.  Safety was never an issue for me, but it is a concern just like any other metropolitan area.

I recommend the program if you have an interest Eurasian energy issues or even energy in general as it provides necessary foundation for studying outside of Eurasia. The university also provides a Russian and Eurasian Studies program (IMARES) and an Arts and Culture program (MARCA)