Each term, the College of Arts & Sciences highlights one of its Global MA students from the International Relations or International Nongovernmental Organizations programs.
Josh Lange is originally from Collinsville, Illinois. He has been interested in international relations since his sophomore year of college and his interest has only grown since then. Though he is interested in many of the different aspects associated with the IR field of study, his top 3 include international law, human rights, and environmental policy. We checked in with Josh in London, where he’s wrapping up his second spring term as a Global.
What is your current city, and what’s your next stop?
I’m currently in London and my next stop is Leiden, The Netherlands.
What has been your best experience so far in the GMAIR program?
Out of a plethora of great experiences I’ve had during this program, I would have to say my best experience so far has been being able to go skiing in Zermatt, Switzerland one weekend during my term in Geneva. Apart from looking like the location that most Christmas cards are based on, Zermatt is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. Also, being able to ski (poorly) in the Swiss Alps was something I never though I’d get to do.
Which city has been your favorite so far in the program and why?
This is a tough question seeing as I’ve immensely enjoyed every city. But if I had to pick one it would be Geneva, Switzerland. Though Geneva may not be as large as some of the other cities I’ve studied in, it is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. Being able to view the mountains any time I want is not something I’m used to back home. Furthermore, the campus is located in a beautiful spot with a great view of the mountains. I also liked the fact that Geneva isn’t too large of a city. Getting around was very simple and the public transportation system was exceptional. Geneva being one of the most international cities in the world was also something that appealed to me. With many international organizations located either in or around Geneva, the city is full of people from all around the world. Lastly, I was treated very well in Geneva. The people were friendly and very helpful whenever I had a question about anything.
What has been your biggest challenge as you adapt to different cultures during your travels?
Though many challenges exist, I would have to say my biggest would have to be moving from place to place every 2 months. It seems that once I get comfortable in one place, it is time to move on to the next one. Though I expected this aspect of the program to be a challenge before the program even started, having to move to completely different places with new cultures and different societal norms has been challenging.
What is the best part about the GMAIR program, academically speaking?
Academically speaking, the best part of the GMAIR program has been being able to learn from many different professors all with unique backgrounds. I have yet to have a professor I haven’t liked or learned a great deal from. Each professor has his or her own distinct views and methods of teaching, which provides for more enjoyable class sessions. Also, the emphasis on writing throughout this program has helped me hone my writing skills significantly.
What are your plans for the future after you complete the GMAIR program?
After completing this program, I plan on returning to the U.S. with hopes of acquiring a job with an NGO of some kind. Throughout the program, I’ve written a few papers within the environmental policy realm so getting a job with an NGO in the environmental sector would be ideal, though I do have interests outside of this area. Additionally, I believe working for the United Nations would be very satisfying. While there is no doubt obtaining a job at the UN would be difficult due to the competitive nature of the organization, working with many dedicated professionals who are passionate about the work they do would be a great opportunity.
The Global MA program is still accepting applications to join our 2015-16 cohorts. For more information, visit webster.edu/global, or contact Sarah Nandor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interview by Gracie Gralike.