Archive | January, 2014

Back At It!

21 Jan

Well, the second semester has officially commenced, meaning I’m back at classes. Though I’m continuing with a second semester packed to the brim of political science classes (I’m starting to have history withdrawal), I do have one random elective for the semester. I also don’t have any classes on Tuesdays or Thursdays (though I’m hoping that will soon be filled with an internship). So, here they are!

Government and Politics of Global Powers

As stated in the syllabus, this course “analyses the challenges of Global Governance and the role played by emerging countries (BRICS) in the new global order.” What are the BRICS you might wonder? Well, that is the fun new acronym (because International Relations and Political Science didn’t already have enough) for the emerging world powers: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. So this course looks at those states (except South Africa, don’t ask why) along with different international institutions, like the UN and IMF, to see how they are changing international political arrangements. I think it will be an interesting class. I really don’t know much about any of the BRICS states, and the professor seems really knowledgeable. She comes with years of experience working in almost every part of the UN.

International Organizations and Global Governance

I had the professor I have for this course in two courses last semester and he is great, which makes me super excited for this course! As you may be able to infer, this class will be interacting a lot with the first class on this list, and vice versa. This course looks at how international organizations, such as the UN, NATO, EU, AU, WTO, and others, work to try and establish global governance. They really do have the best professor to teach this course as well, since he is the director of the Global Governance Institute (a think tank here in Brussels).

History of Political Thought

I have not been to this class yet, so I’ll let you know if it is as interesting as I hope it will be. What this course will be is an evaluation of political theory and the big political theorists in relation with the historical context that they were writing in and how that continues to be applied today. We will study theorists from Machiavelli, to Hobbes, to Marx, and many more along the way. This course has a pretty daunting term paper, but it is supposed to be a cross between a politics and history course, so I’m excited to see what I’m in for. Maybe I won’t have much of a history withdrawal after all?

Introduction to Psychology

I don’t think I really have to explain what this class is all about. Can you guess which class is my free elective this semester? 🙂

Diplomacy and International Negotiations

I think this is the course that I’m the most excited for! It is divided into two parts. The first part of the course focuses on the theory behind diplomacy and international negotiations. The second part will look at specific examples of successful and failed attempts and diplomacy and international negotiations. It also looks like I’ll be taking a country and having the responsibility to speak on their behalf for some negotiations in different areas, such as peace and security, the environment, international trade, etc. It will definitely be challenging, but interesting.

So there you are; my exciting schedule for the semester! If I get my internship I will have to drop one of those classes, and I don’t know which one I will pick, but it looks to be a fun and challenging semester! If you have any questions, just drop me a note below in the comments section.

P.S. I have officially updated my contact information, for those of you who were looking for my new mailing address!

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Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 5

19 Jan
A- Brussels, Belgium; B- Cologne, Germany; C- Langenfeld, Germany; D- Bielefeld, Germany; E- Aachen, Germany; F- Charleroi, Belgium (where we flew out of); G- Doesn't show, but this is Dublin, Ireland; H- Galway, Ireland; I- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland; J- Cork, Ireland; K- Dublin, Ireland

A- Brussels, Belgium; B- Cologne, Germany; C- Langenfeld, Germany; D- Bielefeld, Germany; E- Aachen, Germany; F- Charleroi, Belgium (where we flew out of); G- Doesn’t show, but this is Dublin, Ireland; H- Galway, Ireland; I- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland; J- Cork, Ireland; K- Dublin, Ireland

And off we go to the Emerald Isle. For Agnes, this was a return trip to the land of her birth (since Agnes Irvine Scott was actually an immigrant from Northern Ireland). After spending the New Year in Brussels, Flat Agnes and I caught a flight from Brussels to Dublin for a week and a half tour of Ireland with Alex! Fortunately for us, we were also able to meet up with some more great Scotties who were visiting Ireland on their Global Awareness: Literary Ireland trip. Here are some pictures of what Agnes got to experience!

My Goals–Revisited

19 Jan

When I got to Brussels, I made a list of my 5 goals for studying abroad. Coming into the New Year, I decided to revisit those 5 goals and reevaluate them for the new semester. Here they are!

Goal 1: Try New Foods!

I think this might have been one of my more exciting goals of the semester. I’ve had frites, waffles, and beer in Belgium, frites speciaal in the Netherlands, bratwurst in Germany, fish and chips in London, and Guinness in Dublin. Also, I no longer despise fish! This semester: I want to try and cook some of these dishes. I have a great kitchen at my host family’s house, so I intend to use it!

Goal 2: Travel in Country!

So, I kind of failed at this one. I did a lot of traveling, but not much through Belgium. I spent a day with Hannah in Namur and a week playing tourist in Brussels with Alex, but nowhere else. This semester: Just do it! 🙂 I just need to get out and take those day trips. I still want to go to Bruges, Ieper, Bastogne, Antwerp, and more.

Goal 3: Make friends!

This was the most successful of my goals. I made a TON of friends! The hard part is that they are all back in the US now. This semester: I guess I’ll just have to make new friends. Oh darn. 😉

Goal 4: Learn the Language!

I don’t think I did as much as I could with this. I had a French host family, but I didn’t really speak to them much in French. I didn’t end up getting into the French class that I needed for Agnes, so I guess I’ll have to do this on my own. This semester: I think what I’m going to start doing is getting a French newspaper to read on the 45 minute tram ride to or from school everyday. That should give me plenty of time to brush up a little.

Goal 5: Study, study, study!

Okay, so I probably didn’t do as much as I should have. I didn’t have the best of grades, but I didn’t have the worst either. I did get to have a ton of out-of-class learning though. One way was through the European Peace and Security Studies program where I got lectures from Karen Smith of the London School of Economics, Johan Galtung, the founder of peace studies, Dr. Christian Koch of the Gulf Research Center, and many more. I also found some great museums both in Brussels and in other cities around Europe. This semester: Spend more time studying for my actual classes.

In front of NATO HQ

In front of NATO HQ

Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 4

12 Jan
Brussels, Cologne, Langenfeld, Bielefeld, Aachen

Brussels, Cologne, Langenfeld, Bielefeld, Aachen

After our quick trip to Bielefeld, Flat Agnes, Eva, her father, and I took to the autobahn and drove down to their family’s house is Aachen, Germany. Here in Aachen we got to see the end of their Christmas market, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Centre at the Aachen Cathedral, and try some of their traditional Aachener Printen (similar to American gingerbread). Another successful trip with some great memories!

Flat Agnes and I at the Aachen Cathedral

Flat Agnes and I at the Aachen Cathedral

 

Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 3

12 Jan
Flat Agnes's Journey from Brussels to Bielefeld, with a few stops on the way

Flat Agnes’s Journey from Brussels to Bielefeld, with a few stops on the way

One of the things that I love about Agnes Scott College is their focus on introducing their students to different cultures and customs. One of the ways they do that is by encouraging students to study abroad (as I am now). However, one of the best ways they do that is by welcoming a large number of international students to attend school in the U.S. I had the great fortune of becoming great friends with one of those students, Eva Vogt, and Flat Agnes and I came to visit her in Bielefeld, Germany. We had an amazing time with her and her family and got to see Bielefeld’s famous castle, as well as go to more Christmas markets and try currywurst.

Flat Agnes and her currywurst at the Bielefeld Christmas Market

Flat Agnes and her currywurst at the Bielefeld Christmas Market