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International On Campus

Each year, many international activities — from symposia and conferences to visits by prominent leaders in academia, government, industry and more — take place on campus, and allow the Princeton community to experience the world in its own backyard

By Pooja Makhijani, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and Mary Cate Connors, Office of International Programs

Study Abroad Fair highlights international opportunities

The Office of International Programs held its annual Study Abroad Fair on September 20, 2019, on the Frist South Lawn. More than 600 undergraduates attended the fair, which is the largest in a range of student-facing events and initiatives that aim to showcase international education to new and prospective Princeton students throughout the academic year. Representatives from 40 international partners, as well as various University academic departments, the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Operations, and PIIRS, were present to highlight academic opportunities abroad. “We hope the fair enabled students to appreciate the wealth of international opportunities available to them at Princeton,” said Gisella Gisolo, director of the Study Abroad Program. “By talking with program partners and returned peers, students have started conversations that will hopefully lead them to their next study abroad experience.”

Princeton U.S.-China Coalition holds annual conference on ‘global governance’

The Princeton U.S.-China Coalition, a student organization that aims to foster mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China, held its annual Global Governance Forum in April 2019. Selected students participated in discussions led by prominent academics, industry leaders, and experts from both nations, and networked with corporate and NGO professionals. “The 30 students we invited from around the world threw themselves into discussions about everything from human rights to environmental policy,” said Jack Allen ’21, who helped organize the four-day event. The conference, sponsored by the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China, culminated in a capstone policy proposal project, where students presented policy recommendations informed by the conference’s activities, and were judged by James Palmer, a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

Students learn fast-paced decision-making through crisis simulation

For four days in February 2019, Princeton University’s Program in Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies (REEES) hosted 12 students and two faculty members from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). The visit culminated in a day-long diplomatic, political and military crisis simulation led by Katherine Elgin, a graduate student in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Christopher Russo ’20 and Nicole Don ‘19. The simulation envisioned a crisis on the Korean Peninsula, in which students role-played teams from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States. “This simulation accomplished all of its major goals: students learned about crises and the difficulties of negotiation and intelligence gathering, while also getting to know each other and bridging cultural gaps. The simulation was a great way to help students let their guard down and get to learn together with their counterparts,” said Elgin. Pictured is Mariia Bazlutckaia, a participant from MGIMO.

Sophomore retreat encourages students to be authentic leaders at home and abroad

On May 7, 2019, the Office of International Programs, in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students (ODUS), held a one-day leadership retreat for sophomores entitled “Envisioning Your Leadership Path.” The planning committee included two former retreat participants, Gaby Oseguera Serra ’20 and Caleb Visser ’20. Twenty students, who were nominated by campus partners, participated in breakout sessions with on-campus leaders, reflection exercises, a guided meditation session and a discussion about authentic leadership led by ODUS’s Claire Pinciaro ’13. The retreat also featured a young alumni panel discussion. Katherine Clifton ’15, Emery Real Bird ’17 and Myrial Holbrook ’19 discussed their experiences as leaders at Princeton and reflected upon how those experiences led them to pursue international fellowships post-graduation. “I think the sessions were incredibly motivating insofar as they were reassuring,” said Nick Wooldridge ’21. “[The retreat] helped me reflect upon my strengths and weaknesses and helped me start thinking about ways in which I could deepen my involvement at Princeton and beyond.”

First annual Africa Summit focuses on contemporary challenges and opportunities

On September 27, 2019, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) hosted Egils Levits, president of the Republic of Latvia. Levits, previously, was a member of the European Court of Justice, as well as Latvia’s minister of justice and vice prime minister. Levits joined select undergraduate students for a discussion luncheon in the Louis A. Simpson International Building, where participants had an opportunity to engage with him on European affairs.

Ghanaian president Akufo-Addo discusses future of Africa

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of the Republic of Ghana, addressed the Princeton University community on September 20, 2019, in a public lecture arguing that free and high-quality education and harnessing the potential and resources of the African diaspora are the keys to Africa’s future. Emmanuel Kreike, acting director of the Program in African Studies and professor of history, moderated the discussion.
“I think it was wonderful to have an African head of state who has maintained his passion for his fellow humans nationally and globally and translated it into practice,” said Kreike. “It was wonderful to have him on campus and interact with students, faculty and the wider Princeton community.”
PHOTO: Sameer A. Khan