IChose an International Relations program and my chosen destination isGhana, the abroad program will take place in the University of Ghana.I believe that this new environment will help me understandinternational affairs better, because of the country’s state ofdemocracy and diplomacy, in a region where this is a rare case. Ghanais a fast growing economy, and a very democratic state in Africa, anda lot can be learnt from such a state that has managed to staypeaceful and maintain a steady growth in a relatively unstable regionpolitically and even economically. Ghana has a rich culture andheritage it has been known historically to produce some of thewealthiest leader. It was the first state in Africa to gainIndependence in the year 1957 and has managed to stay ahead, there isa lot to be learnt and discovered on what strategies are used in thiscountry. It has always managed to maintain diplomatic ties with othercountries and is in good terms with them both within and outsideAfrica. An interesting fact about Ghana as well is that it producedthe 7th United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Ghana isactively involved with the United Nations and most of the UNsspecialized agencies such as Organization of African Unity, WorldTrade Organization, Economic community of West African States and theAfrican Union. Ghana has also been very active in peacekeeping aroundthe world, by getting involved in UN auspices in Rwanda Lebanon andAfghanistan. This is such a good environment to grow in knowledgeabout International affairs, as I will learn firsthand about whatNations need to do, to foster peace and cooperation with each other.It is also the perfect environment as it offers these internationalcooperation lessons, as they are driven by ideals and principles ofpan-Africanism and non-alignment.
Iwill also get an opportunity to learn the Twi language of Ghana andalso through the course of Ghanaian African Studies I will build myknowledge of the continent, and its strategic position andsignificance in the world’s economic and social status.
Thereis a great difference in Ghanaian and the American culture andsociety. Ghana is a highly family oriented society and the familyunit comes before everything. Being a developing nation there aresome adjustments I will have to make in order to fit into thesociety. The food is one major concern as the staple food of theGhanaian community is: plantain, cassava, sorghum and millet. This isquite different from a usual American meal or even the fast foodsthat I am used to. The mode of transport is mostly public means andin the villages that I will visit through my studies in Ghana,motorbikes are used to get into the rural areas.
Iwill find a difficult time in trying to adjust to the pidginlanguage, though it is mostly an English speaking state, the commoneveryday language is the English pidgin. The other towns that make upthe city speak either of the other major Ghanaian Languages asidefrom English and this will require keenness to learn a few words. Iwill also need time to get used to the equatorial climate that is thekind of climate in Ghana. Aside from these two, I will need to getused to the food, as it is quite different from what I am used to.
Strategyfor applying for jobs in: Diplomacy, Nongovernmental organizationsand the private sector.
Diplomacyjob title applied for is Diplomatic services operations officer: thisposition requires knowledge of the following issues: climate changeconflict resolution, human rights, forced marriages counterterrorism and finally investments and trade. All these issues arepressing and the position needs someone who can deliver in terms ofhands-on and practical ways of resolving the issues that arepertinent to the entire world. Applying for this position requiresone to show evidence of good managerial and leadership skills. Notonly does one need to prove this, but they also need to prove thatthey can sufficiently handle a project overseas and ensure that thebudget, travel and liaison with embassies and high commissions aredone on time. The best strategy for applying for this job is byhanding in a perfectly updated resume with all information thatsupport any claims of one’s abilities. It is important to book anappointment with the office of foreign affairs and seek to expressinterest for the position.
Applyingfor jobs in Nongovernmental organizations requires a vast knowledgein the international affairs, and all the latest trends around theworld. A very good strategy to use is getting to volunteer in anorganization so as to get a feel of what it really does and mostimportantly gain the experience. The world of nongovernmentalorganizations requires one to be willing to move fast into thecommunities that have the organizations. NGOs are usuallyhumanitarian and social in nature with an aim of eradicating andalleviating problems that have cropped up, or bridging gaps betweenpeople and what they need, and the services and items that will servethese needs. NGOs are different in nature and therefore when lookingfor a job in any, it is important to know what they stand for andwhat they aim to do. Another important thing to know is what kind offunding and leadership is behind them some organizations could bereligious or political fronts.
Theprivate sector requires at least some experience because of thedemands that it has to fulfill. The private sector advertisespositions just like the public sector and it would be of greatimportance to drop in the resume clearly stating the desiredposition, so as to be contacted in the event the position fallsvacant. The position applied for now is the marketing and publicrelations officer, this position is a critical one as it isresponsible for putting the firm in the map. The officer coordinatesmarketing activities and gets the best strategies to use in theprocess. The private sector is open to creative and innovative ideasin this competitive and cut throat market, hence the best way to sellones self is by proving problem solving abilities in innovative ways.Private sector companies are in one way or another influenced bygovernment policies and they have to abide by them. All theseorganizations and companies need to operate on license issues by thegovernment of the country where it is set up.
Ihave chosen to do a Master degree in International relations in anyof the following universities: Northeastern University HarvardUniversity MIT Tufts University Suffolk University BostonUniversity and Brandeis University. I am interested in taking thisMA course as firstly, I have an undergraduate degree in the samefield and am interested into pursuing it further. I have a greatinterest in getting to understand diplomacy and internationalcooperation and relations. In the wake of the global village that theworld has now become thanks to technology, it is important to takesteps toward ensuring that every nation is in good standing with eachother so as to ensure that they can work together for development andmostly development of its citizens. A lot of countries are fastmoving in the direction of democracy in the developing world andthere is a need to ensure that these countries are ushered into theworld of international cooperation without having to be oppressed bythe bigger developed and older nations in as far as democracy isconcerned. I am keen on such trends that exist in the wake of globalcooperation. As a lot of countries are strengthening ties with eachother, they also accord each other support in the wake of globalcrisis like terrorism that has shaken up most countries in the westand even Africa. It is of great necessity that the nations cometogether and have a united front in combating terror groups that haveclaimed many lives.
Ibelieve that the knowledge I gain from taking this masters coursewill open my understanding to how international affairs can behandled well to the satisfaction of all the parties involved. I alsowould like to be at the forefront in establishing change in thesociety. The knowledge I will get will equip me with the skills andknow-how to venture into world of IGOs and NGOs. My entry into theseorganizations will give me an opportunity to learn how to maximize onthe effectiveness of these organizations to help the community onwhich they are set.
Thereare a lot of NGOs and most are formed to help communities afflictedby disease, extreme poverty and even war. It is important that theorganizations work toward benefitting these communities and help themback to their feet. I would like to gain all that I can in order tomake an impact. This degree will help me build my career in the NGOand IGO world and even eventually set up my own organization thatwill seek to serve communities around the worlds that need thesupport. I have decided to further my studies in as much as the BA Ihave in International relations has been invaluable I still need tomove on up and get more knowledge to move further up in my career. Iwould also like to learn a foreign language that will prepare me forwhen I get into a new community that is far much different for my owncommunity. So that even though we might not be having anything incommon except for our need to transform society, we can at leastcommunicate and seek to find grounds on which to begin.
Anotherfaculty that I will like to work with is the history department, as Ifind the need to learn more about the people I intend to serve.Knowing about the communities, their culture, ways if life andeverything unique about them will enable me move into the communitiesI intend to work with, and easily settle in. This knowledge will alsohelp me plan for how I intend for us to work together.
Ihave picked economics as an important issue in international affairs.I picked this topic because of the present open trade in most regionsaround the world and globalization. Globalization has brought aboutan open kind of international trade, most countries are free to tradewith each other, both developed and developing. It is almostimpossible to separate history, economics and politics, as politicsinfluences trade.
Thepresent system of trade and globalization is corporate led, thismodel is however very unfair and it impacts people more than nationsor cooperates, especially the people from developing nations. Themain concern of economics around the globe is what brought about thisform of global trade in the first place. During the depression a lotof institutions in the developed nations had to be shut down, inreaction to the tremendous loss of many wealthy nations around theworld. These nations have resorted to trying to find a bail-out ofthe situation thus creating rescue packages for the large financialinstitutions and banks still in operation. The situation does notfavor the small businesses as they have to endure the crisis withoutany form of package or rescue strategies for them. A major concern inthe world economy, that caused a lot of instability in the worldeconomy is the rapid increase in crude oil prices, causing recession,serious inflation and an imbalance in the international payments,this affects a lot of countries while creating a lot of revenues forthe countries that are oil rich. This causes a great imbalance indistribution of the financial resources.
Themain concern in international trade at present is how to reduceinflations and bring about stability and to restore world’seconomy. To achieve this, all the nations have to play a role ofcooperating, as most nations depend on each other thus solidarity isa better off option. For this to happen, differences that exist haveto be overcome, there has to be a regulation of the extent to whichraw materials are in possession of certain factions of the society,the entire economic and political systems have to be put underscrutiny and a proper result found. The first steps have already beentaken to create a stable economic environment and the first step wasRambouillet summit that saw negotiations and frameworks created forthe purpose of resolving the economic crisis at present.
Whenglobal markets and economy shift and make turns for the worst, bigcompanies try to survive at the expense of the poor, hencedevelopment of sweatshops that have been highly criticized. Bigcompanies that have created factories in Asian countries, andoutsourced their manufacturing processes have compromised on ethics alot. This is because of the working conditions associated with thesesweatshops. A lot of the working poor in this countries working inthis factories, get paid a little amount of money, work under harshconditions and work on a casual basis. They have no union torepresent them and thus all the mistreatment, long hours and littlepay, they bear silently with nowhere to turn to.
Theworld economy is making progress for the better, this is a topic ofinterest to me as business and trade is the current trade that arelivelihoods of common people and they are also strategies by thenations at large, to maintain higher economic statuses.