2017 Incoming Class: Sophie-Anne Baril

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Meet Sophie-Anne – First year International Affairs student concentrating in International Economic Affairs!

Prior to joining the Elliott School, I completed my Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
During my undergraduate studies, among other things, I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland and completed a Capstone research project focused on the economic, legal, and social challenges immigrants face in the United States.  Last summer, as a Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), I published articles on various topics including international development, human rights issues, Haiti, and Brazilian politics.  Last year, my colleague and I’s article on US-Cuba relations was featured in India’s leading foreign affairs magazine, Diplomatist.
A graduate degree from the Elliott School would complement my past experiences as well as my French, Haitian Creole, and Spanish language skills.  I am confident that my studies at GW will propel me further into my international affairs career.  After I have acquired my MA degree, I aspire to work alongside NGOs, government agencies, and foreign governments to find solutions to economically and politically-driven international development issues.
Before classes start, I look forward to exploring DC and finding the best spots in and around the capital!

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.

2017 Incoming Class: Akira Kawasaki

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Meet Akira – First year International Development Studies student from Japan coming to D.C. for the first time!

Through this program, I would like to do research on employment and labor issues in developing countries. When I was an undergraduate student, I visited Mongolia, Mexico and Kenya for a work camp program. From this experience, I learned that many people in developing countries have unstable jobs. My goal is to become a specialist in employment and job creation, and to work for an international organization such as the UN or World Bank Group, to improve job security in developing countries.

As for myself, I earned a B.A. in International Liberal Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan in 2014, and after that, I worked for a Japanese private trading company for three years. My responsibility was to sell construction machinery to Africa and Latin America. I believe this work experience in the private sector was meaningful in my life, and it will be a plus for my future career to be a specialist in employment and job creation.

This is the first time I’ve been to Washington D.C., so I am looking forward to enjoying its atmosphere as the political center of the United States. Also, when I get free time, I would like to visit the United Nations Headquarters in New York. These next two years shall be the most challenging and unforgettable time in my life. I am so excited to see as many people as possible and to share different experiences.

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#TuesdayTips: Getting to Know DC

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As we get closer to the start of the Fall 2017 semester, you’ll want to know what’s around Elliott (19th & E) so you can keep yourself entertained while you’re on or around campus!

When you need a break:

  • Graduate Student Forum (GSF): ESIA’s GSF is run by and for the Elliott grad students. They hold events ranging from museum visits, hikes, and of course, Thursday Night Out’s (TNO’s) during the school year! Expect to hear from them on upcoming events after the school year starts!
  • International Affairs Review (IAR): IAR is Elliott’s student-run publication, regularly publishing online articles by Elliott grad students providing commentary, analysis, and discussions with practitioners, academics and policymakers. They also publish a biannual journal with book reviews, interviews, and spotlights by students, pick one up in suite 303 at Elliott!
  • Free in DC: All 16 Smithsonian museums are free, including the zoo! In addition, there are memorials and monuments, great outdoor spaces, and you can take the 80 bus from Elliott to the Kennedy Center to catch their daily, free shows at 6pm!

When you need some food:

  • District House: This place just opened up last semester and has a Chik-fil-A, Sol Mexican Food, Wiseguys Pizza and more! It can get pretty busy during the semester, but luckily there’s also plenty of food trucks…
  • Food Truck Fiesta: DC has seen the food truck scene get pretty wild, and there are always trucks set up around campus. If you aren’t near the library or at the metro, the closest line of food trucks to the Elliott building is near the State Department on Virginia Ave.
  • Whole Foods: The Whole Foods on Campus (22nd & I) has a hot food bar for noodles, sandwiches, pizza, and just about anything else your heart could desire. There’s also a bar with beers on tap or you can choose from their loose bottles. There’s tons of seating inside and a little patio around the entrance, great for people watching.

When you need to get there:

  • WMATA: If you haven’t already, you’ll want to download a DC metro app (i.e  iTransDC) so you know where everything is at and how it’s connected. If you don’t live near a metro station, MetroBus is the best way to get around for $2 and free transfers for up to 2 hours.
  • Rideshare services: Temporary ride services like Car2Go and Maven let you use a car only when you need it. Car2Go has a fleet of Smartcars and Mercedes-Benz’s for you high rollers that you rent by the minute, hour, or day. And you don’t have to pay for parking!
  • Capital Bikeshare:  If you don’t already have a bike with gears (beach cruisers won’t work in this town), a membership with Capital Bikeshare lets you make free, 30-min one way trips anywhere in the city. If your trip is longer than 30 min, just dock at a station, get a new bike, and start a new trip! They also have an app for finding bikes and empty docks.

 

 

 

2017 Incoming Class: Jeff Burnett

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Meet Jeff – First year Security Policy Studies student concentrating in Security & Development and Conflict Resolution!

I completed my undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University majoring in political science and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies. I studied Arabic for over two years, which included a semester in Amman, Jordan. I also speak Thai; after my first year of school, I deferred for two years and worked in Thailand as a volunteer during that time. I currently work as a contractor with the State Department and facilitate the deployment of Foreign Service Officers to Afghanistan.

After obtaining my degree, I hope to work in the civil-military affairs field either with the Defense Department or USAID and would like to be involved with the rebuilding of Iraq and Syria in some way. Another option I’d like to pursue is Intel or policy work with one of the military branches, so we’ll see what happens.

In my free time I enjoy reading, playing soccer, and training for Spartan races. This summer, my wife and I plan to go whitewater rafting in West Virginia, and being that I am from Pittsburgh, PA, we are watching much of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and hope to go to Pittsburgh for a Pirates game or two.

I look forward to the upcoming start of the school year and getting to know all of my new classmates and colleagues.

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.

2017 Incoming Class: Sunny Zhang

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Meet Sunny (formally ‘Ziqing’) – First year Asian Studies student from Foshan, China!

About eight years ago, I came to the US to complete my high school education in Maryland. At first, I choose to study Communication as my major. However, I realized that my passion was not about being a journalist. Instead, I wanted to learn more about international relations. Therefore, I transferred to American University.

After graduating from AU, I started my internship at The Japan-American Society of Washington DC as the Japan-in-a-Suitcase Coordinator. I visited elementary schools and middle schools in the DMV area to teach students about Japanese culture. Before I taught these students, it was hard to know how much they knew and don’t know about Japan. For example, they know Ramen is from Japan, but they don’t know Ramen is considered as a snack instead of a meal in Japan. I loved seeing their faces when they learned something new.

Due to this experience, I grew a strong interest in International Education between East Asia and the world. However, if I don’t know enough about the policies and economy in Asia, it will be difficult to persuade the governments or companies to accept certain education policies and ideas. Therefore, I choose to pursue a Master’s in Asian Studies at the George Washington University.

I am going back home this summer and redeeming my promises to my friends from Burma and Thailand. My hometown is very famous for delicious cuisine. It has been a long time since I’ve enjoyed such good food. I will also spend some time with my grandmas. They missed me a lot while I was in the US.

I cannot wait to meet everyone in the Asian Studies Program!

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#TuesdayTips: Plan of Study

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The Elliott School Plan of Study must be completed by all students within the first few months of your time at Elliott.

Around September/October, you’ll be contacted by your Program Director and Academic Advisor to arrange for a 1-1 meeting to discuss your Plan of Study, which outlines all of the classes you expect to take to reach your credit threshold for a degree. Depending on whether you are a full-time or part-time student, you’re able to make changes to this plan, even after it’s submitted.

If you want to get a head start, we encourage you to view the Plan of Study for your program here and check out a sample to help you navigate the form!

Remember, you do not need to complete this now, you will be contacted by your Program Director and Advising when it’s your time to turn it in!

Classes for your Plan of Study can be found on your programs website, which are linked on our admissions page.

2017 Incoming Class: Anna Bosch

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Meet Anna – First year student in International Affairs from Germany!

I graduated from the University of Bayreuth (Germany) in 2016 with a degree in International Economics and Development, with concentrations in governance and public management. During my undergraduate studies, I travelled to South Korea with my university’s Model UN delegation to participate in the Harvard World MUN, spent a semester studying at the University of Costa Rica in San José, and completed an internship at the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. – which I enjoyed so much that I wanted to come back here to study at GW!

Since graduation last year, I’ve been working as a trainee for the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in Brussels, Belgium. GMF is a public policy think tank that works on strengthening transatlantic relations, which hasn’t been an easy task recently – but I think that makes our work even more important! I have mostly focused on transatlantic economic relations and the digital economy, and I’m very excited that I’ll be able to continue pursuing these interests at the Elliott School. I don’t know exactly what I’d like to do after graduating from GW, but I’m sure that the next two years will help me figure it out! I am planning to concentrate in International Economic Affairs as well as Science and Technology Policy.

Some of my favorite things to do in my free time are reading good books, exploring whichever city I’m currently living in (mostly finding cool places to eat!), and spending time with my family and friends. If I have longer periods of free time, I love backpacking and past destinations have been all over Central America and Asia. Sadly, I won’t travel this summer; so the most exciting thing I’m doing will be moving to D.C.

I can’t wait to start this new adventure and I’m looking forward to meet all the amazing people that are part of the Elliott community!

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.

2017 Incoming Class: Adriianna Lagorio

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Meet Adriianna – First year Security Policy Studies student concentrating on Latin America and Transnational Crime!

I graduated from the University of San Diego in 2016 with a degree in International Relations. I did an emphasis on my two passions, which are National Security and Latin America, and received my minor in Spanish. I had the opportunity to study abroad at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My love for Latin America led me back to travel to Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay. I plan to continue traveling to Latin America and going to Brazil to participate in research for the Brazil Initiative.

My past experience include working for a nonprofit known as Justice in Mexico as a Security Intern. Also, this past year I served as a District Representative for Supervisor Andrew Do in Orange County. I gained invaluable experience serving as the primary liaison between the Supervisor and the Mexican Consulate of Santa Ana. I plan on spending the rest of my summer with my family, traveling to Yosemite National Park, and soaking in all the California sunshine I can get before moving to D.C.

I love to hike and travel as much as I possible can. I hope to work in the field of Latin American Affairs and security policy negotiations after receiving my degree from the Elliott School.

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#TuesdayTips: Student Accounts or Financial Aid?

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There are 2 money/payment related offices you’ll interact with during your time at GW, but knowing where to go can be confusing. Depending on the issue, knowing which office to reach out to from the start will save you time!

The Student Accounts Office is in charge of eBill, the online platform used for students to make all payments towards tuition and fees. Contact the Student Accounts Office for questions regarding:

  • Tuition rates, fees, & charges
  • How to pay your student bill (i.e., payment plans, payment methods, international   payments
  • Financial aid, veterans benefits, GW employee benefits
  • Refunds (via direct deposit, requesting a refund)
  • Due date and deadlines

The Office of Student Financial Aid is in charge of the monitoring, processing, and distribution of fellowships from the University, student loans, work study, and military benefits. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for questions regarding:

  • Financial assistance application process and how to apply
  • Financial aid awarding and dispersement
  • Info on assistance types (i.e. grants, loans, scholarships, work study, military benefits, tuition benefits, emergency funding)
  • Info on financial literacy & GWU finance policies

 

2017 Incoming Class: Iliyasu Barau

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Meet Iliyasu – First year International Development Studies student from Nigeria!

I currently live in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, though I spent most of my life in Lagos.

I graduated from the University of Hull in 2008 with a BA in Business and Management and I also have an MSc in Management and Information Systems from the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester in England.

After leaving school, I worked briefly as an auditor with PWC. I have spent the last five years working with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank, which is a development finance institution owned by the government. I am currently based in the Abuja office. My work experience has been in the loan work-out unit, remediating some of the bank’s non-performing loans. My desire to pursue post-graduate studies in the development arena stems from my most recent role working on problematic projects. I have had first hand experience on some of the major challenges facing businesses in a developing economy such as Nigeria. I have also had the opportunity to witness the challenges facing public sector organizations in a developing economy on delivering on their mandate. I expect that IDS will serve as a platform for me to learn more about what other challenges similar countries are facing and how they go about solving them.

In my spare time, I like to play football (soccer), watch movies and spend time with my family.

I am really excited to be joining the IDS program at the Elliot School this Fall. I also look forward to living in a foreign country for the next two years and the opportunity to interact with my fellow scholars.

The 2017 Incoming Class Series highlights students starting a Master’s degree at the Elliott School in the Fall 2017 semester. The series will run from June through the beginning of the semester. For more information, contact esiagrad@gwu.edu.