Bush: Experience unique, memorable

Published 9:32 pm Friday, October 18, 2019

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tudying abroad has always been one of my college objectives and often recommended by my mentors and peers. Having received the 2019 International Study Fellowship from Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation, I was able to study this summer at the University of Cambridge, where I was able to learn from renown speakers while sparking lasting friendships that span the globe. The University of Cambridge Summer Programmes offered experiences that were incredibly unique and memorable. “War, Peace, and Destruction: The International Politics of Global Power” was my first course of study at Cambridge. I chose this from the myriad of other courses, because of an intuition: to navigate a better course through the churning waters of the future, one must know the history of modern geopolitics. After only one week of lectures, I was confident my intuition would be realized. In fact, the International Politics course proved to surpass any class I have ever taken. The course material was so relevant and engaging, plus the applicability made the lectures highly interesting. Because of what I learned; I now have a more accurate expectation of what the future world order might look like. Of those who lectured, I had two favorites. The first was Sir Tony Brenton, the former British Ambassador to Russia. Next was Ian Shields, who spent over 30 years in the Royal Airforce, and assisted in the Balkans Crisis as a UN Peacekeeper. Part of what makes the Cambridge Programmes so special is that the class sizes were relatively small, which allowed students to meet and interact with these great lecturers. Both Sir Brenton and Ian provided a wealth of knowledge and experience that had me on the edge of my seat in each lecture. Their real-life experiences in global politics enabled them to present the complexity of the course material in a very lucid, meaningful manner. The Business & Entrepreneurship Programme was my other two-week course. The material and guest speakers truly taught my class how to take a startup idea and launch it toward the market. Real entrepreneurs spoke on how to generate ideas, develop the “pitch” to investors, build a business model, and market it to selected customer segments. Proper steps to test the feasibility of an idea’s value were demonstrated in an interactive manner. My class was a cohort of some seventy aspiring entrepreneurs – some had already started one or two companies. Later we were divided into groups of six and seven to apply what had been learned in the classroom to a new business idea of our choosing. The goal was to simulate the process of building a foundation for an entrepreneurial idea and navigating its route to market through pitches and investment strategies. At the end of the course each team pitched their ideas to real investors.

Outside the classroom, I was fortunate to meet many talented fellow students from all over the world. Through our conversations, we shared our future plans, and I know we will all be watching each other’s fruitful futures. Together, we explored the city of Cambridge, cruised the River Cam on punts, and took day trips to London. We discovered savory restaurants, inspiring locals, and beautiful concerts offered by the University. It was touching to see everyone depart, for none of us had known each other prior to Cambridge. But thanks to a global network, it will be easy to keep up with each other’s endeavors. It’s incredible to know that I have a friend to see and a place to stay whenever I may be in England, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy, Malta, China, Singapore, or Australia. The University of Cambridge brings great people together, and the preparation my colleagues and I gained will certainly assist us in our future careers in such a globalized world. I returned intellectually fulfilled and ready for the world as I near the end of my undergrad years. I’d like to thank W. Robert Brown, the Murray Findley family, and the Foundation for providing such a wonderful experience to study internationally at the University of Cambridge.


Robert C. Bush

Check out next weekend’s Star-News for the second essay.