Disclaimer: this as well was part of an essay I previously wrote.
People always assume I'm from an exciting, far-off location when I mention my love of geography. No, I cannot claim to be from another country, nor do I have family from abroad. But I have always been drawn to the world, and I enjoy learning all I can about it.
Ever since my youth, international relations has been a part of my life. The best gift I ever received was an interactive globe that played music and gave fun facts about other countries. I would play on this toy for hours, and I enjoyed looking at my world atlas. My heart was enthralled when I met people from other countries and ate food from around the world. This heightened my imagination and instilled in me a love of foreign relations. At Liberty University, my two degrees were in Politics and Policy and International Relations. My focus region was Europe in International Relations, and I interned at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. At the embassy, I conducted historical research on various figures from French history. I learned about diplomacy up close and relished all the moments of being in Paris and seeing international relations in action. This showed me the importance of the international community in a new light.
I love studying languages and can speak French to an advanced level. After seeing the rising importance of Polish in international affairs, I started studying Polish and can understand it up to an intermediate level. I also have a knowledge of intermediate Latin. I can grasp languages very quickly and enjoy seeing how many I can read. This is very crucial to my research in European affairs as I may read documents in their original language and not worry about translation errors. In France, I immersed myself entirely in French culture by living with local host families and speaking entirely in French with them. I enjoy reading historical documents in French as well. I'm strong at cross-cultural communications and hope to use this in my future career. Currently, I am interning at the Library of Congress and am being exposed to important political works in every language. The more I read history and current events, the more I realize that we need people who have an interest in other cultures and a willingness to learn to enter into the international policy world. I'm very interested in connecting the entire picture of a country in order to best understand it in international affairs. While researching France, I cannot just look at France today, but I must also incorporate the history of France, the French language, and French geography. I enjoy researching other countries and finding out more about their stories. While doing research projects on Poland for my Post-Communist Politics class, I made sure to take into account a solid understanding of Polish history, some basic Polish language, and some aspects of Polish culture. Cultures, like people, are all special and unique. In order to understand the politics and relation of that country, you must first understand the culture and why their leaders do what they do.
I'm interested in the Era of Revolutions in European history. It is interesting to see the developments that led up to them (such as human rights issues), the philosophies behind them, and the reactions of the people. It is also very intriguing to see how other nations responded and to put events such as the French Revolution or the June Rebellion of 1832 into the larger contextual picture of international relations. I value reading historical documents and seeing not just the main story of the French Revolution but also all the underlying foreign policy and cultural factors that may have played a part in it.
My research also deals with the Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. Like the Era of Revolutions, there were not just current political factors but also underlying cultural and philosophical factors. I enjoy connecting these events to today's politics because in order to understand Europe today and the functioning of the European Union, one must know the entire story of these countries and delve into their cultures. I write as a political commentator for the Odyssey Online and have touched on general European Union and United States relations. I also touch on various cultural issues and what they mean to somebody studying Europe.
I intend to take the culture track, which will help me pursue my future career as a researcher for a think tank. I want to become a specialist in European affairs and eventually have a career in the research field helping people to become more understanding of cross-cultural relationships dealing with Europe. I enjoy sharing knowledge with others and showing the big picture of how this world of international relations can be brought closer with an understanding of history and culture.