American Foreign Policy
Matthew applied to Johns Hopkins SAIS because he was looking for a Master of Arts program that would allow him to gain further insight into the issues that he was focusing on after his undergraduate program, as he taught English in the Czech Republic and volunteered in the Philippines through the Peace Corps. Matthew’s time at the school has further developed his knowledge of international issues, particularly international economics, which is part of the school’s core curriculum.
In addition, the diversity of students at the school has enhanced his learning experience. No matter which country is currently in the news or which country one is curious about, at Johns Hopkins SAIS, it is always possible to find someone from that country or someone who has been to that country who can share their perspective.
Over the summer, Matthew took a course on security in east Asia, which was a strong follow-up to a course he had taken on U.S.-China relations during the academic year. In addition to obtaining valuable insights from class discussions both in and out of the classroom, Matthew appreciated the variety of work and life experiences among his classmates drawing from diplomacy, intelligence, military, technology, and even religious ministry.
Outside of class, Matthew spends time practicing Russian with other language learners, and attends school-hosted discussions featuring global leaders such as recent guest speakers Bill Gates, James Mattis, Condoleezza Rice, Susan Rice, and David Petraeus, among others.
Matthew has found that all of the courses he has taken so far have been outstanding, and especially the instructors. Two courses in particular he enjoyed were Congress and Foreign Policy and U.S.-China Relations. Now, whenever Matthew encounters an article about China or U.S.-China relations, he dives right in because he now has the background knowledge to fully understand the issues at play.
As for his plans after graduation, he is looking at either entering the public sector or a career in international development that stemmed from his experience as a volunteer teacher in the Peace Corps.