Happy Summer! I just got back to the Bay Area after a semester in Washington, D.C. For the Spring Semester, I participated in a program called USF in DC, taking classes at American University 3 days a week and interning the other 2 days. I was a member of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar with 22 other students from around the U.S. and the world. We spent the majority of the semester visiting with different organizations, companies and individuals who work in the Peace and Conflict Resolution field in D.C. and studying different conflicts. I interned at the International Labor Rights Forum, an advocacy organization that focuses on the rights of workers globally. I learned about ILRF through a USF Professor, David Batstone, whose own non-profit, the Not For Sale Campaign works with ILRF. The internship was my first experience working in a formal office from 9-5 and taught me A LOT about what my future job may entail.
The highlight of my semester was a 3 week field research trip to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. My classmates and I studied the Cyprus Conflict in-depth for about a month and a half before travelling to the Mediterranean. In Cyprus, we met with a huge variety of speakers and organizations. We even got to visit the UN Buffer Zone that cuts the tiny island in two and met with UN Peacekeeping troops stationed on the island (the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus is the longest running UN peacekeeping mission and has been active on the island since 1964). All of these UN visits were especially interesting to me after taking a class at USF the semester prior to living in DC on the history of the UN.
I went to DC hoping to figure out whether or not I could move back to the East Coast after graduating in the Spring. While I was reminded about how terrible living in the snow can be, I also really enjoyed much of what DC had to offer and now I’m even more undecided about where I’ll be after I graduate!