Thursday, October 29, 2015

DaQuan, what are you looking forward to this year?

Today we have a student blog post by DaQuan.  Enjoy!

DaQuan, what are you most looking forward to this year?

Due to the fact that I am in the middle of my 2nd year at SAIS, I consider this time to be somewhat daunting because it is the beginning of the end of my SAIS experience. As a nostalgic person I naturally have sentiment about my SAIS experience thus far. Before I began my studies, I never had the benefit of experiencing life outside of the continental United States due to my background in foster care. Nevertheless, since becoming a student at SAIS I have traveled internationally twice – working in Liberia and Indonesia – and I have two more trips planned.  Some of my favorite moments at SAIS have been both inside and outside of the classroom. However, my most unique and possibly meaningful experiences were spent abroad and/or with my classmates.

"Relaxation and more work in the rain forest." Reading a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) 'World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2014' report after tubing down the Batang River in Tangkahan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Myself and other SAIS International Law students head home after a weekend in the Indonesian rain forest.
SAIS International Law students pose at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia during their summer 2015 research trip which investigated Indonesia's palm oil industry.
At my summer internship with Action Aid Liberia - Monrovia, Liberia.
After several weeks of work and no play, I enjoy some time on the Liberian beach at Monrovia's Kendeja Resort.

Inspired by West Africa's ability to endure the Ebola epidemic, I pose with a mural on Tubman Blvd in Monrovia, Liberia. 

I am looking forward to traveling with SAISers and making the most of our remaining time at our institution.  Firstly, I am finally eligible to enroll in my capstone course within the International Law and Organizations department, and as a result I will be participating in the International Law 2015-16 Human Rights Clinic, which features a fact finding trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Secondly, I will be participating in a Spring Break Trek to Israel. Since I have never visited the Middle East or Caribbean and I have intentions of making a career substantiating human rights and investing in civil society, I am looking forward to having awesome professional development experiences during each trip.

--DaQuan, Admissions Student Blogger