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Students 'star-struck' after visits to UN and home of the Knicks


Students got a first-hand account of life in the fast-paced world of international diplomacy when they had a tour of the United Nations building in New York.


It was the perfect opportunity for those interested in international issues to find out about the work of the UN and see where its 193 member states meet to decide crucial policies affecting millions around the world.

International Relations student Martins Pepernieks said: "We had a personal tour of the UN, seeing how the council works and how they actually work.

"There were two of us who study International Relations there and we were both really star struck. It was so relevant to our studies and it inspired me to find a way, after my master's, to work there."

Eleanor Opoku, an Economics and Politics student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), said: "The United Nations has been an organisation we have studied throughout our modules. To be able to see it and learn about the different roles and its scope was incredible.

"It's somewhere I would like to work, so I was interested to hear from the people who worked there how they got their jobs and the work they do and projects they are involved in."


The visit followed a special briefing for students by Harriet O'Brien, part of the UK's mission to the UN based in New York. The event was arranged by DMU governor Alan Charlton, himself a former diplomat who has worked in Brazil, the US, the Middle East and Germany.

Professor Alasdair Blair, Head of Politics and Public Policy at DMU, said students gained an insight into not only the UN but also its career entry points and fast-track programmes.


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He added: "She spoke about the way in which the UK exercises its influence and how the UN operates, particularly the Security Council. I think the students learned a great deal from it."

The United Nations tour was just one of the academic activities organised for students from DMU's Faculty of Business and Law. More than 1,000 students and staff from DMU visited New York earlier this month in what is thought to be the biggest-ever overseas visit by a UK university.


Other events included visiting the 9/11 Memorial, the Supreme Court and going back stage with a tour of Madison Square Gardens.

Martins added: "It was amazing. Everything was an experience. When you go there, you are dropped into a different culture so you are bound to learn. It gives you an international view.

"Every single one of the 1,000 students will say that they learned something important visiting New York.


"I'm from Latvia and the no.6 for the Knicks is Kristaps Porzingis who is Latvian. We went backstage at Madison Square Gardens and I saw the Knicks locker room. He wasn't there sadly but I tweeted a picture of me there!"

DMU alumni ran a special masterclass for Business and Law students, giving their career tips and offering advice in areas ranging from working in the finance industry to leadership.

Posted on Tuesday 24th January 2017

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