Francesca Batault ’19
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My Story

Francesca’s childhood was spent growing up in South Africa as a member of the Born Free generation, the first generation born after the end of Apartheid. Inspired by the incredible progress since Apartheid, she realized that change can truly be made through the dedication of a single individual, and that this has the potential to create an incredible ripple effect. With a strong desire to learn, she focused her studies on the political, economic and social structures that would fundamentally transform the country that had ignited her passion towards creating a more just and peaceful world for every individual. Francesca completed a B.S. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, in the Spring of 2019, and is currently a candidate for the M.Sc. degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.


This is Francesca’s Northeastern Story…

My Path
Why Politics, Philosophy, and Economics?

Francesca believes that the PPE program is more than just a major; it offers the qualitative and quantitative skills needed to enable sizable and lasting change in the world. This is made possible through an interdisciplinary approach to all three disciplines, where students are given the theoretical political and economic frameworks and these are combined with thoughtful consideration of the conscience and dignity of human beings. The PPE major is thus the first step in becoming an engaged and a responsible global leader who creates smart, feasible and ethical change.

“I cannot say that there was an exact moment that sparked my passion for global issues, but I can credit it entirely to my childhood.”

Francesca on a walking safari to track elephants at Kruger National Park.
Transformative Coursework

POLS 3406: “International Law” with Denise Garcia  

    “POLS 3406 helped me discover my passion for global legal issues and understand how these have evolved from ideas, to treaties and ultimately norms of international relations.”

PHIL 5001 “Global Justice” with Serena Parekh 

    “PHIL 5001 touched upon issues of global justice from an ethical perspective within a socio-economic and political framework and was key in reshaping my understanding of global ethical issues such as human rights, refugees and climate change.”

Summer in Geneva

In the summer of 2016, Francesca attended the Dialogue of Civilizations to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. This program allowed her to immerse herself into the capital of diplomacy and international peace and security. Through meetings with prominent ambassadors, academics and humanitarian activists, she was given a glimpse into the everyday life of these individuals, and the hard work and sheer dedication they have. This inspired Francesca to continue to pursue research and work in the field of international peace and security.  This experience was instrumental in enabling Francesca to create her own co-op at the International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation in Pretoria, South Africa, working in the international humanitarian law department.

Francesca with Prof. Garcia at the United Nations in Geneva
Global Journal for International Affairs Photo
President of Northeastern’s Global Journal for International Affairs

In September 2016, Francesca took on the role of President of Northeastern’s Global Journal for International Affairs.  Global Journal is entirely student run, written, and published, and provides Northeastern students an opportunity to reflect and write about their times spent abroad. Global Journal showcases a careful balance between politics, cultural understanding, and personal reflection that gives it its own distinctive style and makes it appealing to a large audience of readers.

“Through Global Journal, I have been transported to the ends of the globe and it has given me a creative voice that still encapsulates the core lessons learned through the PPE major.”

International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation in Pretoria

Francesca started her co-op at the International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation in January 2018. She wanted a co-op that encapsulated her humanitarian ambitions, while also satisfying her lifelong interest in the legal profession. The ICRC’s role is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and violent situations and to provide them with assistance. The organization also endeavors to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles. Francesca’s co-op is in the ICRC’s legal department where she applied her research and writing skills. The classes Francesca took at Northeastern not only provided her with the necessary legal background, but also with the research and writing skills to begin her own thematic research. From these classes, Francesca gained insight on the important foundations of policy work and political processes, in addition to the difficult moral issues one faces when making policy decisions.

CNN Photo
Next Steps

After Francesca graduated in May 2019, she was a Teaching Assistant for the United Nations Dialogue of Civilizations in Geneva, Switzerland, with Professor Denise Garcia. In September 2019, Francesca started pursuing a master’s degree in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Following completion of her graduate studies, Francesca hopes to work for an international organization such as the U.N. or the International Committee of the Red Cross (I.C.R.C.) doing fieldwork in Africa, specializing in humanitarian aid coordination.

This was Francesca's Northeastern Pathway...Where will yours lead?

Learn more at:

Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program-Northeastern University

Francesca at the United Nations