First opening its doors to the international community after the fall of the Berlin Wall by providing scholarships to students from Europe to attend its U.S. programs, TFAS has since established multiple Institutes overseas. This summer, the overseas programs brought together more than 250 of the brightest college students from around the world for intense academic and cross-cultural exchange in the Czech Republic, Greece and Hong Kong.
The 109 students from 32 countries who participated in AIPES in Prague, Czech Republic benefited from the experienced tutelage of returning faculty. Dr. Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute taught the American government and constitutional theory section of AIPES and Dr. Kurt Rotthoff of Seton Hall University taught the economics portion.
As part of their coursework, students participated in a legislative simulation in which they passed bills on issues such as taxation, gun rights and criminal punishment.
“The debate and legislative ingenuity of the AIPES students was staggeringly impressive,” said Sam Potolicchio, assistant professor at Georgetown University. “It doesn¹t take much imagination to envision these students debating similar issues at very high levels of leadership in their own countries.”
New this year, 28 students participated in a moot court simulation involving legal argumentation before a hypothetical appellate court. Participants assumed the roles of appellate lawyers and judges, arguing and deciding two cases that were assigned readings, both of which concerned the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
The European Journalism Institute (EJI) took place simultaneously with AIPES in Prague. The program worked to strengthen the journalism skills of professional reporters with an emphasis on business and economic issues.
This year’s class included 32 students from 24 countries.
The IIPES class of 2010 included 79 students representing 21 countries. Dr. Michael Collins of Georgetown University and Dr. Antony Sullivan, TFAS senior fellow, engaged the students in intense studies and discussions on political economy and philosophy.
Tom Palmer, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, delivered the Freda Uttley Lecture on Political Economy, and Dr. Faten Ghosn (I 99) from the University of Arizona led the students in a rigorous course on conflict management, marking the first time an alumna returned to IIPES as a professor.
“Since 1999, I have always thought about one day giving back to IIPES, and more importantly how to continue the message of IIPES, which I try today to do in my teaching,” said Ghosn. “I really am grateful for this opportunity and I truly enjoyed the experience and the challenge.”
AIPE in Hong Kong boasted 73 students from 17 countries this year, and welcomed back professors Andrew Morriss from the University of Alabama and John Baker of Louisiana State University.
“Learning the fundamentals of the American constitution made me realize the importance of political and economic freedom among people as being an important pillar for development,” said AIPE student Suniti Thapa, a junior at Harvard University. “Besides, the academic program, AIPE made it possible to meet students from various Asian countries and the United States and develop life-long friendships.”
Park Sang Hak, president of the organization Fighters for Free North Korea, delivered remarks at AIPE’s commencement ceremony. Hak defected from North Korea 10 years ago and spoke about his experiences and his work to promote freedom in North Korea.
Stay tuned for a photo album of the international programs in the October edition of @TFAS!