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Student Trip to Geneva: A Peace Destination

Monday, 02 December 2019

geneva_2019_group%201.jpgEach year, AGS students travel to a different destination for a few days' trip organized by the AGS Graduate Student Association (GSA) during the Fall break. These trips are a perfect way to complement and enhance the international experience provided by AGS, while developing the bonds between fellow students. Taking advantage of the location of the school in Paris, which provides a perfect platform for travel across Europe, previous years' destinations have included Oslo (Norway), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Berlin, (Germany), Porto (Portugal), and Budapest (Hungary). This year, the students went to Geneva (November 1-4). Ariana Diaz (M.A. 2021) and Kailin Mundt (M.A. 2021), the Graduate Student Association's president and treasurer, give an account of this experience.

This year’s chosen destination for our annual Graduate Student Association (GSA) student trip, was the known Peace Capital of the world, Geneva. For the GSA Committee, composed by current enrolled students, it was important not only to factor in interests that arise during our studies, but to as well be able to observe firsthand a city housing key institutions to International Relations. When it came to deciding our destination, Geneva was the perfect choice.

The historic metropolis was the ideal location for spending a long weekend over our fall break, with its attractive scenery, Swiss charm and offerings of local cuisine; not even the weather could put a stop to our excitement and activities around the city. Each student was able to experience the city on their own time and parting from their own individual focuses, with visits to the International Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (CICR), the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Museum Ariana, the Art and History Museum of Geneva, and other cultural offerings of the city. As well, iconic Geneva sightseeing locations made our list, like the Broken Chair and the Jet D’Eau. Two of the students, who spent their entire childhood in refugee camps in Subsaharan Africa and were excited to be able to visit the headquarters of the UNHCR. 

We also had the chance to meet casually with some of the current United Nations interns, in order to discuss their passions, areas of focuses and general recommendations to us students looking to follow in their footsteps. Composed of diverse backgrounds, we had interns from the departments of Human Rights, Human Affairs and the Syrian Fact Finding Mission formed, part of our mixer.

Our student trip culminated with a guided tour of the UN Headquarters in Geneva. Lead by our tour guide Rita, we were able to see and visit some of the historic and iconic rooms of the Palais des Nations, as well as discuss current projects and the current day-to-day work that happens at the facilities. We were even able to take pictures at a UN podium, hopeful in foreshadowing the future careers we’ll embark on.

The student trip’s main focus is to have the opportunity to experience a new European city through the perspective of our current role as students in Paris, yet we are composed of diverse individuals, and along the way we discover that our student trips mean so much more at individual levels. For some of us, an exciting new adventure and for others a lifetime's full circle.

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Ruchi Anand India
Ph.D
Associate Professor
School of International Relations

quote leftThe 'AGS experience' is about travelling through various places, spaces, contexts, perspectives, theories, approaches and ideas, colored in different nationalities, accents, cultures and identities, all at one place. The AGS corridors may be short but they are wide if you let your minds roam free.quote right

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