Salonee Singh ’24 shares the impact that studying in Switzerland had on her IAPA studies as well as how it will help her navigate potential careers after graduation
Hometown: Pembroke Pines, Florida
Concentration: International and Public Affairs
How did this experience contribute to your studies in IAPA?
This year I received a Watson grant to spend the summer in Geneva, Switzerland at the School of International Training, where I completed coursework in Multilateral Diplomacy, International Studies, and French. I conducted an independent research project on the geopolitical implications of repatriating the remaining 36 detainees of Guantanamo Bay. I had the opportunity to interview legal experts such as historian Andy Worthington and Guantanamo litigator Shayana Kadidal, as well as access the historic archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross. I lived with a host family in Founex, a village in the canton of Vaud, for two months and met an amazing cohort of students who I got to travel with and learn from. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to study diplomacy in the "peace capital" of the world---this summer was invaluable to my studies of security within IAPA .
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your experience?
Exploring Switzerland as a hub for diplomacy was the most interesting aspect of this experience. Accessing ICRC archives, observing UN Human Rights Council hearings, and hearing from WTO officials---this summer was an incredibly exciting time to be in Geneva.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
Although one of the immersive aspects of my experience was staying with a host family, this was definitely an adjustment and lifestyle shift.
How might this experience bolster potential career opportunities post-graduation?
Gaining experience in organizing professional interviews and ethnographic research allowed me to walk away from this experience with a newfound understanding of how to investigate an area of interest. I was also able to meet students, professionals, and academics with ranging areas of expertise. Hearing about different career trajectories and being supported by a network of diverse individuals made this experience incredibly rewarding.