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Peer Mentors

 Meet our Peer Mentors:

Fall 2017

Geerija Aggarwal

Majors: International Affairs and Economics
Minor:  International Security

What issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
Human rights and security (especially in the Middle East), diplomacy and international communication along with economic growth and reduced inequalities.

What languages are you learning?
French and Arabic

Which regions of the world are you most focused on?
Middle East and its relations to the rest of the world

What dialogues/co-ops/study abroad programs (if any) have you attended?
Will be studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland next semester.

What is it you like most about IAF?
The opportunity to be able to study and analyze the world. I am fascinated by how countries work together and how politics and diplomacy affect economic, political, and social factors of a particular or several countries. IAF allows you to discover and study all these different factors at a unique level. Its broad range of topics allows you to get a wider and fuller perspective of the world, but also allows you to specialize in specific regions through concentrations and regional analysis courses.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
It would definitely be to get involved. It is so easy to get caught up in academics but it is so important to go out and get engaged in the university community. Go out to different clubs meetings, events, meet new people, discover different ideas and perspectives, and find extra curricular activities that will really boost your personal and professional goals. Join different clubs and communities and don’t be afraid to talk to people. You are in the same boat as 99% of the incoming students and you are all going through the same anxiety, nervousness, and excitement; but make sure to also talk to upperclassmen and not only students of your same age.

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Erin Bold

Major: International Affairs
Minors:  Russian and History

What issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
Security and conflict resolution.  Also, the relationship between security/conflict and human rights.

What languages are you learning?
Russian, German, Italian and French

Which regions of the world are you most focused on?
the former Soviet Union

What dialogues/co-ops/study abroad programs (if any) have you attended?
The language dialogue in Russia.  My first co-op was with Elizabeth Warren’s Boston office focused primarily on immigration.  My second co-op was in Northern Ireland with a nonprofit migrant center.

What do you like most about IAF?
I love that IAF really gives students the opportunity to explore their career options both in the classroom and on co-op.

What advice would you give students?
Get involved in student groups!  It’s a great way to make new friends and to find something you’re passionate about.

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Cassidy Feerick

Majors: International Affairs and Economics

What issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
I am most interested in Economic Development and Human Rights.

What languages are you learning?
Spanish and Mandarin Chinese

Which regions of the world are you most focused on?
Latin America and East Asia

What dialogues/co-ops/study abroad programs (if any) have you attended?
I have attended the Argentina Dialogue of Civilization program.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Make the most of your time at school and to take every opportunity given to you because this time in your lives only comes once.

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Samantha Johnson
Majors: International Affairs with a concentration in Middle East Studies
Minors: 
Political Science and Arabic

What issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
Human rights, specifically refugee crises
Education

What languages are you learning?
Spanish and Arabic

Which regions of the world are you most focused on?
Middle East and North Africa

What dialogues/co-ops/study abroad programs (if any) have you attended?
Jordan Dialogue- Jordan and the Syrian Crisis.  Currently applying to multiple global co-op positions around the world.

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Valentina Munoz Ascencio

Majors: International Affairs and Political Science with a concentration in International Security
Minor:  Middle East Studies

What issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
I am mostly interested in international security and conflict resolution.

What languages are you learning?
I am learning Arabic, I speak Spanish and French.

Which regions of the world are you most focused on?
Right now I am more focused in the Middle East, however, in the future I would like to deal with European-Middle Eastern relations.

What dialogues/co-ops/study abroad programs (if any) have you attended?
Last summer, I was a TA for a dialogue in Argentina and Uruguay.

What is it you like best about IAF?
Definitely, the faculty. The IAF department has many brilliant minds; however, what makes the faculty exceptional is their international and multicultural views. Most of them have lived in and travelled to many different countries. These experiences are passed down to us, their students.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Many incoming students are worried about their future careers, especially in International Relations when it comes to choosing a regional or topical area. They think that whatever you decide during your undergraduate career will determine the rest of your life. My advice is to do what you love or learn about what you’re most curious about. I decided to follow a Middle East track because I have very limited knowledge about the area but not because I would like to work there. College is the only time in your life when you can try out different things, so take advantage of that.

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Arief Bin Johan Alimin

Majors:  International Affairs and Economics

What Issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
The management of international institutions, specifically the United nations.  Conclict resolution and diplomacy in developing nations.

What languages are you learning?
French

What dialogues/co-ops/study abroad programs have you attended
Co-op positions include a fellowship under the Malaysian Foreign Minister in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Also a marketing communications intern in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

What do you like best about IAF?
The study of International Relations offers insight to the building of human relationships beyond individuals but between larger entities – states.  What fascinates me most is the historical agreement between states to interact fairly between each other in order for both parties to gain benefits.  This can be seen in the United Nations, European Union, Association of Southeastern Asian Nations and others.  It is particularly interesting to me as these organizations are the most typical platform to solve today’s most urgent global issues.

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Fully embrace what Northeastern has to offer to further your academic and professional endeavors.  A major component of this university is how globally oriented our peers are. Our culture is one where it is typical to co-op in Peru for 6 months, dialogue in Iceland over the summer and study abroad in Tokyo.  It is eye-opening in both the study of international affairs as well as broadening horizons on different cultures and practices. 

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Michael Kalmeta

Major: International Affairs
Minors: Political Science and Italian

What issues in International Affairs are you most focused on?
International Law, Human Rights, BRICS Economies, and issues pertaining to immigration.

What international programs have you attended?
I spent a year studying abroad in Rome, Italy and a summer semester in Athens, Greece. I completed a co-op in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, working for the city government. I have also done two dialogues: a language-based one in Mantova, Italy and another one to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

What languages are you learning?
I currently speak English, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish fluently and I am conversational in French, Arabic, Greek, and Croatian!

Which regions of the world are you most focused on?
At this point, I am most focused on Latin America – especially Brazil.

What is it you like most about IAF?
My favorite aspect of IAF is how all-encompassing it is and how it gives me the tools to traverse the globe in order to find my own niche. The world beyond the United States has always fascinated me and I have always dreamt of having the privilege to learn about it. In retrospect, I have also improved greatly in my communication skills (both written and oral). Lastly, I love being able to use different languages and not speak English all the time!

What advice would you give to incoming students?
Go abroad and take advantage of every opportunity! By the time you are graduating, as I am now, you will look back and be amazed at how much you accomplished.

 

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