All Good Things…

Kate after her successful presentation on GIs.

And so my time in Belgium has come to an end. It’s been a busy last week — the perfect conclusion to a great summer abroad.

On Tuesday, we had a developmental meeting. Everyone in the office met in the conference room for lunch, and we went around and described what we’d been working on for the past two weeks and what we had coming up. It was a great to hear what everyone had been working on — it really gave me a glimpse of how broad the field of economics really is. People here are working on everything from using machine learning in medical studies to analyzing conflict in Africa.

On Wednesday, I gave my final presentation on the work I’ve been doing with GIs. I presented the information I’d gathered on the process by which GIs are amended and the data I’d collected on those amendments. There was a great discussion afterwards, and it was really interesting to hear how this topic intersected with the work so many other people are doing, especially in looking at GIs in developing countries. We followed the presentation with a tasting of GI and non-GI camembert cheese.

I also finished my report on Korea’s FTAs with the US and the EU this week. In finalizing that, I really got into the political process of negotiating and approving trade agreements in the US and the EU and it was fascinating to see how the processes compared and differed and how some of the differences in the agreements were a direct result of the differences in the processes they go through.

In between saying my goodbyes, frantically searching for my passport, and trying to cram everything into a suitcase, I’ve had some time to reflect on the past six weeks and the opportunities I’ve had.

This summer has been a great opportunity to see how the world of academia works. Many of the people I’ve worked with this summer are in the process of getting their PhDs, and it’s been very helpful to be able to talk with them about how the process works and why they’re doing it. It’s also been very interesting to talk to people here about differences in the academic worlds of America and Europe, everything from how you write a resume to how getting a master’s degree works.

As I finish my undergraduate career at Stanford and begin to look at what I will do afterward, these last six weeks have been tremendously helpful in guiding that decision. Thank you to everyone who made this opportunity possible: CEPS, LICOS, Stanford, and the many others who made this experience what it was.

Written by Kate Wilson’16, B.A. in Public Policy with Computer Science minor at Stanford University. She was an FSI Global Policy Intern through The Europe Center at the The Center for European Policy Studies/LICOS during Summer 2015.

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