Kaitlin Hickey, ETA, 2018-2019, Lycée Julie-Victoire Daubié
While living in Paris, I joined an organization called the Junior Diplomats Initiative France (JDI) at Sciences Po which aims to provide students with insight into the realities of the diplomatic world by organizing opportunities to interact with international relations experts. Through JDI, I was able to visit and speak with diplomats at the American, British, Canadian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish embassies in Paris.
Inspired by JDI’s events, I decided to organize a classroom visit for my students at Lycée Julie-Victoire Daubié with Luke, a foreign service officer from the U.S. Embassy. After studying mathematics and Middle Eastern studies at university, Luke spent a year at the American University in Cairo and then went on to work in finance in New York City before joining the Foreign Service. He explained to the students that prior to his tour in France, he had completed his 2 tours in Brazil and Tunisia.
Although a bit shy at first, the students had a great time asking Luke all sorts of questions ranging from his opinion of French food to how the US would facilitate the extradition of Julian Assange. When asked what his day-to-day work as a foreign service officer looked like, Luke explained that he spent a lot of time monitoring local politics and writing policy briefings for D.C., though he did share an especially exciting anecdote about visiting an American who was being detained in the Amazon near the Colombian border. Once the bell rang to signal the end of the period, a bunch of the students stayed behind to ask more questions.
The visit was definitely a highlight of the semester!