Global Experiences Empower Students with Diplomatic Knowledge 

Two groups of Georgetown Qatar (GU-Q) students expanded their understanding of diplomacy, conflict management, and peacebuilding through real-world global experiences during this spring break.

Washington, DC, Women as Changemakers

The faculty-guided trip aimed to heighten their awareness of women’s historical and contemporary role as changemakers. Students made lasting connections on the Georgetown main campus, with visits to the GU Women’s Center and Center for Social Justice. Interactions with scholars and diplomats, and a visit to the World Bank, highlighted women’s role in global affairs.

The uniquely structured program offers students of international affairs a global learning experience explained Dr. Christine Schiwietz, Assistant Dean for Curricular and Academic Advising at GU-Q, who co-led the trip with faculty and staff from GU-Q’s Women’s Center and the Office of Student Life. “Teaching our students to embrace their own role in fostering change is an important goal of the program. The experience bridges their coursework in impactful ways, with opportunities to build camaraderie, understand new cultures, and be inspired to embrace their own strengths as leaders and changemakers,” said Dr. Schiwietz. 

Finland and Estonia Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace

The Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace program brought 21 students studying post-Soviet Eastern Europe to Finland and Estonia, immersing them in the ongoing process of navigating security concerns. 

For International Politics major Iman Nait Chalal (GU-Q’26), learning different perspectives about the conflict and its aftermath from people who experienced it helped her appreciate the importance of diplomatic communication. “Meeting and exchanging ideas with all of these diverse, important people, such as members of parliament, people affiliated with NATO, and even students from the University of Helsinki, were the biggest highlights of the trip.”

An intensive program of activities around the capital cities of Helsinki and Tallinn included engagements with members of parliament, ministry officials, and ambassadors, as well as conversations with students and faculty from the University of Helsinki. Visits to museums and points of historical interest further contextualized their studies.

To conclude their trips abroad, the students developed reflective e-portfolios about their social, cultural, and professional learning experiences, identifying lessons they can apply to their own communities.

The experiential learning offered by GU-Q through the Women as Changemakers and Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace programs are among the numerous opportunities for students to enhance their understanding of diplomacy and international affairs.