MIR Exchange Student: Lea Buhler

Written on February 4, 2015 by Waya Quiviger in Master in International Relations (MIR)

Lea Buhler

Written by Tim Palmer, IE Associate Director of Admissions.  

As part of the Master in International Relations (MIR) program, the IE School of International Relations offers optional academic exchanges to graduate master students. As part of these exchange agreements, MIR students have the possibility of completing an optional three month academic exchange with one of our partner universities while the IE School of International Relations also received exchange students from these institutions. Currently the IE School of International Relations has three distinct exchange agreements with prominent Universities devoted to International Relations across Europe and the United States.

This year the Master in International Relations class welcomed two new students as part of our exchange agreements. Here Lea Buhler, 2014-2015 MIR exchange student from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, talks to us about her experience during her semester-long exchange at the IE School of International Relations.

Background & personal information.

My name is Lea and I’m Swiss from the German part of Switzerland. I am currently in my final term here at IE with the Master in International Relations as part of the exchange program, although my home university is St. Gallen in Switzerland where I am also focusing on international relations studies.

How did you learn about IE and the MIR exchange program?

I found out about the MIR exchange program through my university since they have a partnership with IE. The exchange program fits very well with my current curriculum as well as my personal and professional interests, so I decided to apply. In addition I have spent time in Latin America and have also studied Spanish, so I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to be in Spain and improve my Spanish.

Why did you choose the IE School of International Relations over any other possible destination?

I was very open when choosing my exchange program. During my research I got to know IE and it seemed like a good fit. Looking at the videos and program materials for the Master in International Relations, the program aspects really appealed to me and my interests.

I also very much liked the program structure, and the prospect of being able to fit in seamlessly with the current class. I noticed at other schools that the exchange students sometimes seemed to congregate together and perhaps not integrate in with the entire class. On the contrary, this definitely was not the case with the MIR students as the whole class truly interconnects and gets to know each other throughout the term, which is a really unique opportunity that made me feel quite special.

What have you found are some of the more rewarding aspects of the program?

The professors were great. I really appreciated the personal feedback where papers and other assignments were usually graded with individual, hand-written remarks from the professors. The personal coaching and teaching style definitely allowed a lot of room for self-improvement and development over the course of my term. I found this very useful in going through the exchange and developing my IR acumen.

What were some of your favorite classes?

I enjoyed the History and Comparative Politics classes. Even having studied international relations for my Bachelors, I didn´t find that any of the courses were repetitive. Studying them here at IE on a more enhanced level created a positive challenge for me. The History of International Relations course with David Moshfegh was very interesting and personally having interest in diplomacy and a possible diplomatic career here in Europe, studying this was not only valuable but necessary.

How did the MIR exchange prepare you for a career in International Relations? 

The immediate short term effect has definitely been all the knowledge that I have gained, although I think the real value will be in the long term as I’ve learned a very integrated perspective on international relations and I believe this will translate into a successful career in international relations.


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[…] año el Master in International Relations acogió a dos estudiantes: Lea Buhler y Ricardo Falcón. En esta entrevista, Ricardo Falcón, 2014/2015 MIR Exchange Student de la […]

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