Gioia is our next first-year blogger to recap her first Fletcher semester:
After a busy autumn, it felt great to be able to sit back and enjoy a few weeks of non-academic reading, catching up with friends, and reflecting on the whirlwind of my first semester at Fletcher. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more grateful for the good things in my life, many of which include Fletcher. Among them are:
1. My friends and classmates, who provide a never-ending source of camaraderie and support. Having such a diverse and friendly community at Fletcher means that conversations can range from the U.S.’ shifting policy in the Middle East to the historical origins of the champagne coupe. It has been wonderful to get to meet such fun and intellectually stimulating people here.
2. Appreciating Fletcher professors who often go the extra mile to help their students succeed. After grades had been posted, one of my professors emailed every student in the course with their grade and extensive comments on their final papers. Seeing my argument’s strengths and weaknesses will help me pursue my research in the future with a sharper focus and a more refined thesis. Professors at my previous institutions rarely returned final papers and exams, let alone with detailed and constructive comments.
3. Our beautiful campus and being in the Greater Boston area. Despite being only 15-20 minutes away from Boston, the Medford/Somerville campus feels very much like a traditional American college with its expansive quad and distinct architectural details. I really appreciate being able to take a break from the library and be in nature for a bit before returning to the stacks. When I have more time, the Mystic River and the Middlesex Fells Reservation are nearby and have beautiful walking trails.
This semester looks like it will be even more busy and exciting than the fall! I have a part-time internship with the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Boston and a schedule packed with fascinating courses. I am particularly looking forward to the U.S. Public Diplomacy course taught by Ambassador William Rugh; my undergraduate senior thesis drew from many of his works and I am very excited to hear him speak in person! My other courses include Legal Aspects in International Trade, U.S.-European Union Relations, Science Diplomacy, and U.S. Diplomatic Tradecraft. I appreciate that Fletcher’s breadth requirements allow me to pursue areas in which I don’t have any previous experience while being flexible enough to take courses directly applicable to my career interests in my first year. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store!