Given the opportunity to customize their own immersive learning experience, six students in the Institute’s International Trade and Economic Diplomacy program designed and executed a week-long trip to Geneva, Switzerland over spring break that saw them meet with leading officials at organizations including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
“Last semester one of my classmates and I started planning to create an immersive professional learning opportunity for students of the International Trade and Economic Diplomacy program,” said student Akimi Yano MAITED ’18. Taking the initiative with support from program faculty, “We reached out to former bosses, coworkers and anyone who might be able to help us organize our field research/training trip.”
The trip the students put together included visits with key officials at the WTO, UNCTAD, the International Trade Center, the International Center for Trade and Sustainable Development, and the Graduate Institute of Geneva. The group also met with the ambassadors or representatives to the WTO from the United States, Japan, and Mexico.
“It was an excellent opportunity for me to meet with highly experienced professionals in the field of international trade and multilateral trade negotiations and ask them questions,” says Yano. “I was able to collect information that I would not have been able to if I had not gone to Geneva.” The experience reconfirmed for Yano the importance of learning both inside and outside the classroom. “My education at MIIS helped me to stablish a foundation of my strong understanding on multilateral trading system, and I was able to ask great questions.”
In addition to offering numerous immersive professional learning experiences organized by faculty and staff, the Institute offers students the flexibility to customize their own experiences with the blessing of and support from faculty mentors.
“At MIIS our opportunity is only limited by our imaginations,” concludes Yano. “Whatever we want to accomplish, we can make it happen.”