Category: Featured News, News

Title: Celebrating diversity in education during International Education Week

This week, campuses around the world are celebrating International Education Week (IEW). IEW is an initiative supported by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. As one of the world’s leading programs in foreign affairs and the first ever school of international affairs in the U.S., MSFS draws a wide array of individuals from all over the world and offers a truly international educational experience. The class of 2024 draws on individuals from twenty-one states and nations including India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ecuador, Uganda, the Dominican Republic, Ukraine, and Sweden. We strongly believe that having such a diverse student body enhances a student’s educational experience.

 To celebrate International Education Week, we’ve outlined a few of the many reasons we feel having a diverse student population adds to our community

Insider access to the political heart of America 

Located in the international hub of Washington DC, the MSFS program offers unique opportunities for connecting with world-class practitioners and gives an inside-peak into the political heart of America. This was a major draw for both American and international students alike. For second-year Eric Haun, this was a deciding factor in his choice to attend MSFS.

A welcoming, tight-knit community 

Eric also highlighted the community aspect of the MSFS program, saying “the MSFS cohort model is unique in that each student brings their own diverse background and subject matter expertise to the classroom, creating opportunities where one can learn as much from fellow classmates as one does from the professor.”

This sentiment was echoed by many. First-year Sam Whitlow expressed that the welcoming aspect of the MSFS community drew him to MSFS. He writes “[Throughout the application process, I had] an experience where people were interested in my story and where it might turn next, where professors and students were willing to jump on the phone and have a conversation, where my future classmates were revealed to be an extremely-qualified group doing inspiring work all over the world. There are many places where the prospective practitioner of international affairs can receive an education, but to my mind, none with quite the character of Georgetown.” 


Commitment to Service 

For second-year Sarah Hsieh Min as well, the vibrant spirit of her classmates and mutual commitment to service has been both inspiring and an attractive reason to seek out an education in international affairs. She writes, “the world is not perfect, but we all do our utmost to make it a better one. These are the lessons I have learned at MSFS, and the spirit that I will carry on [post-graduation].” 

The MSFS Service Committee has resumed after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their first kick-off meeting was attended by  students who engaged in robust discussion of opportunities and spaces for greater student engagement with the MSFS core value of service. 

Linguistic diversity 

There is also an enormous linguistic diversity within the program, being composed of students dedicated to the study of international affairs, including many international and dual-citizen students. Within the class of 2023 alone, there are twenty-two languages spoken, including Azerbaijani, Thai, Mandarin, Swedish, Urdu, Tamil, Italian, Lithuanian, Punjabi, Albanian, Hindi, Khmer, Igbo, Yoruba, and Polish. Many MSFS students speak more than one language (there’s even a polyglot or two here!). But for those who are still polishing their first foreign language, MSFS offers opportunities for students to take one of the twenty-plus language course offerings at the university.

Second-year GPS concentrator Elizabeth Wollan really summed up the joys of a diverse, international education. She says, “I was drawn to MSFS for the tenacious and talented cohort of students, the world-renowned faculty and practitioners, the remarkable opportunities provided for students to develop into holistically sound practitioners, and the gift of being in a city that allows its students the opportunity to create synergies between theory and practice in professional and academic arenas alike.  

Get to know MSFS more

For International Education Week 2022, Director of Admissions, Ryan Byington, was able to work closely with partners at Education USA Lebanon, Education USA Tokyo, and Education USA West and Central Africa to provide an overview of the MSFS program and share tips on applying to graduate school in the United States. 

Ryan says, “At MSFS we are proud to open our campus and classroom to students from around the world. Being able to live and learn in Washington DC provides an unmatched international affairs graduate experience and we want students from around the globe to know the opportunities that are available. We know that applying to and attending graduate school is a huge investment and we want to provide information and resources to help make the process easier to navigate.” If you are interested in an international education at MSFS, check out our Admissions page to learn more.