Hi everyone! Saludos a todos.

I’m sitting here in my apartment in Madrid, munching on the famous Spanish mandarins and Canarian bananas, writing this post after finishing the notoriously difficult 2nd term of the program. I feel mentally and physically exhausted, but very accomplished, accompanied with a sense of excitement for the MIR program’s upcoming Brussel’s trip. We will visit key EU Institutions and even NATO and have the opportunity to attend an EU Parliamentary session. I’ve officially passed the half way point of the program and it’s crazy to think that I’ll be done in just a few months. It is within this context that I begin writing to you all today.

My name is Calvin, a student of the Masters in International Relations program at IE. I’m from Sunnyvale, California, USA in the heart of all things technology-related in Silicon Valley. Most of my friends and family work in technology, many as engineers or programmers. It seemed natural that I too, should pursue a career in tech. After starting my undergraduate as a major in Computer Science and taking my first programming course, I immediately knew it was not for me. I noticed I lacked the enthusiasm and interest that my classmates had as they typed away on their laptops and spent weekends holed up in the basement level computer lab.

At age 20, I went to participate in a summer Japanese intensive study program in Kyoto, Japan because of a strong recommendation from a friend. That trip really changed my life by opening up the world to me. I felt like a fish that had finally left its fishbowl and had discovered the ocean with its vast unknown, yet exciting possibilities.

That event spurred me to begin to pursue further international opportunities during my undergraduate and post-graduation through interacting more with international students at my home university and also via studying, volunteering, traveling, and working internationally.

By the time I was applying for the IE School of International Relations, I had lived in several countries already. I was sitting in my Japanese tatami style room in Taipei, Taiwan with the table was covered in Chinese books and piles of papers with sketches of Chinese characters. My laptop was on the table with an application open for the MIR in Madrid, Spain. I felt that an International Relations program would have been the perfect match for me.

Fast forward 9 months later and now I am living in Madrid, Spain.

On a concluding note, I will be keeping a running blog of our Brussels trip so stay tuned for updates!


Best Wishes,


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