Thursday, November 29, 2012

Did you miss our online information session? Not to worry

Yesterday we held an online information session with several dozen prospective candidates who asked excellent questions.

We know that not everyone can attend these sessions and that many would like to know what was discussed.

We recorded most of yesterday's session, including the meaty Q&A that touched on some very important issues: the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, language requirements, the analytical essay, among others.

If you are interested in listening to a recording of the session and seeing the questions that were sent in via chat, please send us an email at, and we will send you the relevant URL.

After you've clicked on the URL, you should try to open the Adobe Connect session as a "guest". If you have any problems, please send us an email at

Click here to see the slide deck we reviewed together during the session.

One very important question was asked: Does it make a difference which box I check when I'm asked if I'd like to start my SAIS studies in DC or Bologna, or if I would be open to starting at either campus?

From the standpoint of your chances of admission, it does not make a difference which box you check. We hold candidates to the same high standards, whether they start in Bologna or DC.

My recommendation would be to check the box that reflects your true feelings. If you're keen to start in Bologna, check that box. If you'd like to spend two years in DC, then choose DC. If you are truly open to starting at either campus -- and keep in mind that in this case the Admissions Committee would choose your campus for you if you were admitted -- then check the "open-ended" box.

As we approach the business end of the application process, we know that candidates have lots of questions. Remember, you can always contact us directly.

In the meantime, here are some posts and guidelines that address specific aspects of the application:

- statement of purpose
- analytical essay
- letters of recommendation
- English language requirements
- foreign language requirements

Our next online information session -- and the last one before the January 7 deadline for applications -- is set for Wednesday, December 19 at noon Italy time (1100 GMT). We'll have a special guest to discuss the analytical essay. We'll post information on how to connect to the session on this journal early in December.

Nelson Graves

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Statement of Purpose: "Stay True to Yourself"

The statement of purpose is a crucial component of an application for admission. It's a chance for the candidate to say why SAIS Bologna is right for them and why they are right for SAIS. A year ago we published a post on the statement, and it has become our second most read item. Today we turn the podium over to Nora Sturm, a current student at SAIS Bologna.

The statement of purpose is probably the most challenging but also most rewarding part of the application process.

Nora Sturm
It’s a chance for you to think about what you’re interested in, what you want to do and how a degree from SAIS can help you achieve that goal.

The process of self-reflection is important, in and of itself. It’s easy and tempting to go through life without giving these questions their due consideration. Once you have done so, the writing is comparatively easy!

I would not worry too much about what kind of structure or style to adopt. There are many different ways of organizing your writing. You can approach it as you would a cover letter and show how your past experiences make you a promising candidate. Or you can focus on the linkages between your aspirations and the skills that SAIS will teach you.

There is no one-size-fits all approach. The structure you choose should reflect where you are in your career and what you want out of your educational experience.

The same goes for style. Provided they are relevant, short anecdotes can offer the reader insight into your experiences. But if you would feel more comfortable keeping the text formal, that’s fine too. (In any case,  make sure your statement is free of grammatical and spelling mistakes because those are sure to stick out.)

Permit me to give an unoriginal piece of advice: Stay true to yourself. If you are, your statement will be more convincing. If not, your writing will come across as contrived and trumped up.

It helps to remember that the Admissions Committee has to read mountains of letters. So the easier and more enjoyable you make it for them, the better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving in Bologna

More than 150 students, faculty, staff and their families gathered at the Bologna Center on November 24 to celebrate the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday with a feast organized by the Student Government Association. The pièce de résistance -- 15 turkeys. Accompanied by an assortment of side dishes and topped by an array of desserts. Entertainment by the Dance Club. Below SAIS Bologna student Felix Amrhein of Germany writes about his first ever Thanksgiving. (Thanks to photographer Maxwell Cohen.)

Turkeys were carved, potatoes were mashed, vegetables were roasted.

After three months of pasta, pizza and panini, SAIS Bologna students displayed their culinary skills and offered a wide variety of traditional dishes at the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

As a European who has never lived in the United States, I experienced my first Thanksgiving. I had heard of it, of course. But apart from a passing knowledge of its basic history, I knew little about the tradition. I could not help but think it was a pretext to eat insane amounts of mostly greasy but delicious food.

Boy, was I wrong.

I spent my first Thanksgiving with friends who obviously had been doing little else that day but standing in the kitchen and preparing food.

The U.S. students were horrified by the thought that classes would be held at SAIS Bologna on Thanksgiving, which of course is not a holiday in Italy. As long ago as August I had heard desperate conversations on how to tackle this dilemma. The solution: hold the dinner on a Saturday afternoon.

Ever since the end of midterms, the main topic of conversation was what to cook for Thanksgiving, how to get hold of turkey in Italy, where to gather and how to get a U.S. TV feed to watch the requisite football game.

(I could not help but notice that Americans tend to get a bit lost as the year progresses. It seems they need public holidays to tell them what to do and how to act. After a long preparation for Halloween, the next event is Thanksgiving. With Thanksgiving over, Black Friday starts the countdown for the Christmas season. Black Friday is the most intense display of consumerism I have ever seen and falls just a day after the commemoration of what we are thankful for.)

The Dance Club performed a flash Gangnam Style routine

It took me two hours in the kitchen, three helpings of food, 20 fellow SAIS students and a good two hours of food coma to grasp the importance of this holiday for the Americans.

Never have I seen so many people Skype or call their families at once. It brought home to me that this holiday is about spending time with loved ones, enjoying the company of one's family and expressing thanks.

It's clear that Thanksgiving means more than I may have thought: a day with close friends and family, enjoying a fine meal and remembering what we can be thankful for.

I am thankful for having had the chance to enjoy this day with the SAIS family.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A new window on SAIS

SAIS has a new website:

What's different? The new platform provides a better sense of what sets SAIS apart: it is the only graduate school in international relations with campuses on three continents.

Our footprint offers students unique perspectives on global issues of import. Like the brochure that we wrote about in a post in September, the new site trains a bead on what differentiates SAIS.

If you go to the new site, you'll see it provides a window on all three campuses. You are no longer required to pass from one site to another.

For the time being, the old SAIS Bologna site is still available. If you'd like to get to it, you can do so by clicking here.

The new site is a work in progress, and so we would appreciate any feedback you would like to give. There is a feedback section in the bottom right-hand corner of each page of the site.

Nelson Graves

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One woman's "real world experience" before SAIS

SAIS Bologna is a diverse place by way of nationality, age, background, expertise and experience. Recently we published posts by Tony Bonanno, who came to SAIS Bologna after three decades as a lawyer, and Andreas Glossner, who came here after studying Physics at university.

Today Kate Maxwell tells us how she ended up at SAIS Bologna after graduating from a U.S. university and then working on Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

After graduating with my B.A. from American University’s School of International Service, I knew I wanted to take some time to get real world experience before pursuing a graduate degree. In my quest for a job that would give me some hands-on experience in the field of international relations, I ended up in the very last place that I expected: banking and finance.

Kate Maxwell
I started working in the executive office of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), an international organization of over 450 banks and other internationally active financial institutions. The IIF, in addition to conducting advanced economic research on a macro level, also examines the impacts of international banking and financial regulations on  industry and the economy.

About a year into my three-year tenure at the IIF, the world turned its attention to Europe and the mounting sovereign debt crisis, particularly in Greece.

The restructuring of Greek debt involved not only the EU, IMF and national European governments but also the private sector, including many IIF members.

The IIF became directly involved in representing the interests of the private sector and shaping the Private Sector Involvement (PSI) piece of the restructuring. Working directly on these issues gave me insight into the interplay between politics, economics, cultural differences and international cooperation between nations, international organizations and the private sector.

When I was looking at graduate programs, SAIS and particularly the SAIS Bologna Center really stood out to me for the opportunity to study both in the U.S. and in Europe and to gain a fuller understanding of the most pressing global issues.

The impressive and diverse student body at the Bologna Center lends an additional element of learning through their experiences, and I am able to contribute both in and out of the classroom thanks to my work experience before SAIS.

The multidisciplinary approach here makes sure all students are equipped with an essential economics toolkit which is crucial to the understanding of any international issue as well as allowing a focus in other areas.

In my case, I am able to pursue my interest in more effective international cooperation in the International Law and Organizations program and love the diversity of courses offered by studying on both the Bologna and Washington campuses.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Next online information session: November 28

We're approaching the business end of the application process. Candidates have lots of questions, and we want to make sure you get answers.

The next online information session is set for Wednesday, November 28 at 5 pm Italy time (1600 GMT). It's a great chance to learn more about SAIS Bologna, to ask your questions and, crucially, to hear others' questions that may not have occurred to you.

At each monthly session we choose a theme. This month it will be the statement of purpose.

As you would expect, the statement is a critical part of one's application. It is a chance for each candidate to put their best foot forward, to convince the Admissions Committee that SAIS is the right place for them and that they are right for SAIS.

A post that we published a year ago on the statement of purpose is the second most read item we have ever written.

To connect to the information session, you will need an Internet Connection and a phone. We use the Internet to show documents and video and to conduct chat conversations; we use a telephone conference line for audio.

Here are directions for connecting to the session.

If you have any questions, as ever feel free to drop an email to We look forward to the session.

In the meantime, I can't help but share this lovely video by Ian Muir, who is a current student here:

If you are reading this via email, you can see the video here.

Nelson Graves

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning from your application -- whether or not you get in

Applying to graduate school should be an act of self-discovery.

Yes, there's the small matter of eventually learning whether or not you are admitted. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The very act of compiling an application should bring you rewards, whether or not you win admission. Those who put the most thought into their candidacies submit the strongest dossiers. Not because they labor longer and harder, but because they reflect on the challenges and the opportunities.

If you are applying to graduate school for 2013-14, how are you feeling about the process? Are you anxious, stressed out, racked by uncertainty? Do you feel on top of the procedure, excited, confident?

Your feelings might be beyond your control because of circumstances. Perhaps you're feeling harried because you learned about your number one program -- hopefully SAIS -- only recently and are in a tizzy to complete the application.

Let me make a suggestion. Before you dive into that next task relating to your application, sit back and ask yourself an important question: Why am I doing this?

Graduate study is a big commitment -- of time, energy and invariably money. Even students who attend programs without tuition take themselves out of the job market while they are studying. This foregone income is part of the opportunity cost of attending school; it can be sizable, and all students bear it.

Those who think carefully about why they would like to attend graduate school understand the value of the investment and are at ease with the application process itself. They submit a more powerful dossier and eventually get more out of their studies, too.

Meanwhile, are you learning from the process?

How have you approached your decision about graduate school? Did you research your options carefully before plunging into the application process? Did you start the process early or procrastinate? Did you reach out to students or professors to learn more about the programs?

Your attitude towards the application process is a kind of mirror in front of you. Barring changes in character, it's likely you'll adopt a similar approach at other crucial junctures in life.


I'm not suggesting everyone should take the same conscientious, deliberate and thorough approach to every decision in life. How boring. But it might be worth reflecting on how you've gone about deciding whether graduate school would suit you and, if so, which schools are your top choices. The assumptions, values and behavior you've brought to the process are likely very deeply embedded in you.

As you go about compiling the components that make up your application, it's worth keeping a bead on your feelings and your methods. Would you prefer to avoid taking a standardized test because you fear failure -- even if the result could be an important signal for you of your preparedness for the graduate school challenge?

Have you had trouble finding referees to write letters on your behalf because you never got to know your professors?

Are you struggling with your statement of purpose because you're not entirely sure why you want to go to graduate school or how it would help you meet your goals?

Again, I'm not advocating a homogenized approach to applications -- goodness knows how much we appreciate diversity at SAIS. I'm also not saying the best candidates never have problems with their applications or never grapple with self-doubt.

What I hope is that regardless of the outcome of your application, you will learn from the process itself. Your candidacy is a major endeavor, perhaps your biggest ever.

The rewards should be as great.

Comments or questions? Please feel free to get back to me.

Nelson Graves

Thursday, November 15, 2012

SAIS Concentrations: Conflict Management

Today Michael Cornish tells us why he chose Conflict Management as his academic concentration. His is the second in a series of posts on concentrations at SAIS.

For me, there was only ever one choice for a concentration at SAIS – Conflict Management.

A while back I was doing an internship as the personal/research assistant to Gareth Evans, former foreign minister of Australia and president emeritus of the International Crisis Group. I asked him: "Where would you go to study conflict management and international relations?" You can already guess his reply.

It was the availability of this concentration that clinched my decision to apply to SAIS. And so here I am now in Bologna.

Michael Cornish
I hold to a personal philosophy that would be best described as "passionate pragmatism". This philosophy underscores that it is not enough to simply want to change the world for better – as much as this should also be encouraged – but that one must also acquire the knowledge, understanding and practical tools with which to effect such change.

Wishing to "maximise the good" I do in this world, and reflecting upon both my strengths and interests, I concluded that conflict management was the area in which I would try to place my lever to move the world.

I look forward to the Conflict Management practicum courses, primarily offered at SAIS DC. But coming to SAIS Bologna in my first year was an excellent decision. I have not had to compromise my academic goals taking this path; in fact, it is enriching my academic experience.

Importantly, the Bologna Conflict Symposium – a gathering of many of the world’s most prominent experts in conflict management – is held right here at the Bologna Center each June. Of even more, if abstract, importance is the chance to be immersed in not only one but two different perspectives and cultures – a real-life attempt to live and understand the ‘international’ part of the degree’s namesake.

I have a few possible internships lined up for the break between Bologna and Washington, both in the field of conflict management. Even at this early stage I have identified the top several potential employers that I wish to pursue for post-SAIS employment. Through my discussions with them, my degree at SAIS – with its strong reputation in conflict management – is considered a tremendous asset.

I think choosing the right concentration can be exceptionally important, but especially if you know what direction you want your career to head in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Two dates & this journal

First, a couple of reminders:

1. Our next online information session is set for Wednesday, November 28 at 5 pm Italy time (1600 GMT). We'll be posting details next week on how to connect. If you're interested in attending and want the details sent to you by email, drop a line to

2. The deadline for applications to SAIS is Monday, January 7, 2013. Remember that you can start your online application, save it and come back to it later. You do not have to complete it in one sitting. It's a good idea to start it early so your thoughts have time to germinate.

On the application, you'll be asked if you want to start your studies in Bologna or DC, or if you are open to starting at either campus. Your chances of being admitted are the same, regardless of your answer. The important thing is to consider carefully where you'd like to start. If you are genuinely open to either campus, then that choice would be the right one.

Now, a few words on  this journal itself.

One of the best ways to stay in touch is to subscribe, either by email or RSS feed. To do so, you'll want to drag your cursor to the right-hand side of the home page. Nine icons should appear vertically. If you click on the bottom one, which looks like this:

you can subscribe via email, RSS feed or Google Reader.

By the way, we like receiving feedback on our posts, so don't keep your thoughts to yourself. You can always comment via the comment function at the bottom of each post or by sending an email to For example, are there kinds of posts that you'd like to see more of?

Since we launched this journal in December 2010, we've had 170,000 page views. Here are the countries whose readers have clicked the most on our posts:

United States: 70,323
Italy: 30,472
United Kingdom: 4,779
Germany: 4,653
Greece: 4,262
Austria: 3,217
France: 2,853
South Korea: 1,745
India: 1,505
Belgium 1,376

Is your country punching below its weight?

Here are the most popular posts since we launched:

1. The Analytical Essay (Nov 16, 2011)
2. The Statement of Purpose (Oct 19, 2011)
3. Standardized tests: No time to wait (Oct 5, 2011)
4. Seeing how you think (Feb 21, 2011)
5. What is in a name? (Dec 9, 2010)
6. Jobs at SAIS Bologna (May 24, 2012)
7. What are SAIS Bologna students most proud of? (Oct 6, 2011)
8. The early bird gets the worm (Aug 16, 2012)
9. SAIS Bologna's Halloween party: a slideshow (Oct 31, 2012)
10. Learning outside the classroom (Mar 7, 2011)

Nelson Graves

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SAIS Concentrations: Energy, Resources & Environment

Today SAIS Bologna student Fiona Skinner tells us why she chose Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE) as her academic concentration. This is the first post in a series on the MA program's concentrations.

Choosing a concentration was never really an issue for me. In fact, the Energy, Resources and Environment concentration was the main reason I applied to SAIS.

Fiona Skinner
My undergraduate degree in Land Economy broadly covered Economics, Law and Environmental studies. Although the three fields are undeniably complementary, by the end of my first year I found there was a missing link.

By allowing me to examine energy and environmental policy through the broader lens of international relations, I believe that the SAIS MA will provide me with continuity to build on what I learned during my undergraduate studies: how to bridge the divide between theory and policy with a sense of purpose and practicality.

Due to the diversity of our backgrounds, ERE concentrators are required to complete an online Basics of Energy course within the first three weeks of term. This fall semester, I’m taking Energy and Climate Change, and look forward to classes like Politics and Economics of International Energy and Renewable Energy: Markets, Technologies & Projects in the spring.

Fortunately, concentrating in ERE doesn’t preclude students from taking classes in other fields of interest, allowing me to take courses outside of my concentration next semester, such as Contemporary Russian Foreign Policy and European Economic Integration.

I’m convinced that taking these courses will allow me to gain deeper insight into resource issues, which are inherently interdisciplinary and deeply intertwined with international relations.

At this point I can’t predict whether my choice of concentration will lead me to work in an international organization or to seek private sector employment as an analyst or consultant, but it is my sincere commitment to contribute to a more sustainable energy future.

With the breadth of expertise at SAIS, amongst staff and peers alike, I am sure I will be equipped with the tools to achieve just that.

Monday, November 12, 2012

SAIS Style

We couldn't resist sharing this video with our followers. No introduction needed. Enjoy.

If you are reading this via email, you can see the video here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Meeting our faculty: Prof. Jacobellis

Each year SAIS Bologna students vote to award an excellence in teaching prize to an outstanding professor. The award has been given six times. Fabrizio Jacobellis has won it twice (most recently last year) and tied for the prize once.

A graduate of SAIS who attended SAIS Bologna, Prof. Jacobellis is the latest professor to be profiled in our Journal.

What course are you teaching?
Corporate Finance

Your degrees?
Fabrizio Jacobellis
MA Economics (Bocconi University, Milan),
MA International Relations and International Economics (SAIS, BC and DC)
ABD Economics (Oxford University)

Where have you taught?
Oxford University
ENI Corporate University
SAIS Bologna

How long have you been teaching at SAIS Bologna?
Since 2007

A link to a recent publication by you?
An article in Manager Italia's magazine on the possible exit of Greece from the euro zone. I will also be publishing an article on the same subject in the next issue of SAIS Bologna's "Rivista" magazine.

Anything special about SAIS Bologna?
The people: students, faculty and administrative staff who make the whole place unique and the experience unforgettable.

Anything special about Bologna?
It's ability to constantly surprise you even if you believe you know it inside out.

Your favorite book?
"Globalization and Its Discontents", by Joseph Stiglitz

Spending time with my daughter, family and friends

A quote?
"Fatti non foste a viver come bruti, ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza" - Dante
Translation: "You were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SAIS Bologna keeps watchful eye on U.S. elections

Even from afar, SAIS Bologna kept an eagle eye on the U.S. elections.

Little matter the nationality: students stayed up all night at the Center on November 6 to watch the results roll in.

The start of a long electoral vigil
Prof. Erik Jones, speaking to a packed auditorium, delivered a post-dinner, pre-returns analysis of forces shaping U.S. electoral politics.

Prof. John Harper participated in an election-night event at the U.S. Consulate in Milan that was piped in to the SAIS Bologna auditorium.

Ph.D candidate Neil Sheenai responded to a challenge from Prof. Harper and delivered a rousing and articulate defense of one of the presidential candidates to the listeners in Milan and at SAIS Bologna.

Students held an electoral map contest, organized by the Student Government Association (SGA). Here is a rundown of the results by SGA member Max Cohen:

In the U.S. presidential election, it all came down to Ohio, but in the SAIS Bologna Center election prediction contest, all eyes remained on Florida.

Fifteen bolognesi channeled their inner Nate Silver and submitted maps to the SGA, predicting the election outcome in each state and the District of Columbia. For every state that they correctly predicted, they were awarded a number of points equaling that state’s electoral votes.

Though the results aren’t final, it appears that President Obama has a small lead in Florida, meaning we have a tie for first place between Michael Eschmann and Ally Carragher, who both accurately predicted who would win all 538 electoral votes.

If it turns out that Romney wins Florida, we would also have a tie, this time between Alex Weaver and Tristram Thomas.

There was quite a bit of uniformity between the predictions submitted by our entrants. All entrants were in agreement that President Obama would win the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Hampshire.

Here is a map showing what the average entrant thought would happen in the election. Assuming Florida ends up in the Obama column, it is the only state that a majority of entrants predicted incorrectly:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Career planning: SAISers go to London

How do SAIS students learn about internship and job opportunities? The Career Services office plays a critical role in helping students land rewarding internships and jobs. Today Alex Aki of SAIS Bologna discusses a recent trip organized by Career Services to London.

Almost as soon as I arrived at SAIS, I started thinking about what I was going to do next summer between my first and second year and also after graduation.

Alex Aki
Enrolling at SAIS was an easy choice but figuring out which sectors and companies to apply to is much more difficult. Fortunately SAIS’s Career Services office provides resources and training to help students refine their resumes and cover letters, network effectively and prepare for interviews.

Each year Career Services organizes treks that enable students to learn about specific organizations and particular sectors. This year Career Services in Bologna is offering four career trips -- two to London, one to Geneva and one to Brussels.

The trip to Brussels will focus on European Union institutions and other multinational and multilateral organizations, while the trip to Geneva will expose students to multilaterals and United Nations offices. One of the London trips will include meetings with a variety of multinational companies while the other was geared entirely towards the financial services industry.

I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the London finance trip this semester because I intend to pursue a career in that industry. During two days in the English capital, 20 SAIS Bologna students attended eight meetings with different firms including Black Rock, JP Morgan Chase and Fitch Ratings.

At each of the firms current analysts and managers, most of them SAIS alumni, spoke to us about their respective jobs, company culture and required skills to obtain an internship or full-time employment. Many of the alumni recommended certain academic classes and related skills courses at SAIS which would help us be more competitive applicants. They shed light on how the financial services industry is weathering the global financial crisis and how increased government regulation is affecting their work.

SAIS Bologna students on the London Career trip
My favorite part of the trip was the energy finance panel assembled by the SAIS Bologna Career Services director, Meera Shankar. The panel included two SAIS alumni working in energy project finance and a current SAIS Bologna professor (also an alumnus), Marco Dell’Aquila. All three stressed that to be successful in energy project finance we need the strong quantitative skills and robust understanding of international energy issues taught in SAIS’s Energy, Resources and Environment concentration.

The trip helped me identify which companies I want to apply to in the future and what skills I need to develop to be a competitive applicant. While I am at SAIS to study (and enjoy life in Bologna for a year), the career trek to London reminded me of the need to devote significant resources towards planning for life “in the real world” after graduation.

Friday, November 2, 2012


No one has solved the chess puzzle we posted two months ago, but we do not give up easily. So here is another snap quiz.

A U.S. president called this man the greatest statesman of the 20th century. The man studied at university in the city where the cathedral pictured below is located.

Who was this man?

You can send in your answers using the comment box or by sending an email to The person with the first correct answer wins a SAIS Bologna tee shirt.

Good luck!

Nelson Graves

Thursday, November 1, 2012

One man's circuitous route to SAIS Bologna

Students follow different paths to SAIS Bologna. Some come right out of undergraduate; others have heaps of professional experience. Today Tony Bonanno describes the circuitous route he took to end up at the Bologna Center after law school, military service and an international career.

I first learned of SAIS in 1965 when applying to attend Dickinson College’s junior year abroad program in Bologna for the 1966-67 school year.

Dickinson of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, had a very close relationship with SAIS at the time, with Dickinson classes conducted at the Bologna Center and Dickinson students like myself enjoying taking some SAIS courses.

Tony Bonanno
We were made to feel part of the SAIS community even though we were Dickinson undergraduates. For me the year in Bologna was transformational for my later life and career choices, and SAIS contributed to that. Besides learning about a different culture and beginning to learn the language, I loved the total Bologna experience and dreamed one day of returning to Bologna.

Soon thereafter, the U.S. Army intervened to delay my law school plans. I enlisted in the U.S. Army (it was the time of the Vietnam War) and to my surprise, because of my experience at Dickinson, SAIS and Bologna, I was stationed in Vicenza, Italy, for two years in 1970 and 1971. I made sure to take trips back to Bologna.

After law school in Washington, DC, I practiced law in Washington until 1983 when I transferred to my law firm’s office in London, where I practiced international tax law until my retirement at the end of 2010.

I was then faced with having to decide what to do in my retirement. The idea of returning to Bologna and SAIS seemed a good idea. My wife was very supportive, and I was excited about pursuing my life-long interest in international relations studies. I learned that SAIS had an MIPP program (Master of International Public Policy) which seemed to suit my desires exactly.

Returning to SAIS and Bologna as a retired lawyer was a great decision, and I highly recommend it for the “mature” student like myself.