Current location: Home > News&Events > Series Spotlight > Study Abroad > Content


Study Abroad

【World · GDUFS】 XU Ji: The United Nations in My Eyes

Time:May 8, 2019  Author:  Editor:  Source:   Photo:

Editor: This article is from the School of International Governance Innovation (SIGI). The author, XU Ji, is a postgraduate of International Relations in 2016 of the School of International Relations and the first batch of students to study in the United States for a master's degree from GDUFS SIGI. He is currently an intern at the United Nation (UN) department of peacekeeping operations and crisis centre.


At 10:00 am, December 17, 2018, New York time, with the offer of a United Nations internship, I arrived in front of the United Nations building in midtown Manhattan from lower Manhattan. At the moment the sun is clear. Surrounded by the national flags of the United Nations, the building appears particularly tall and majestic. For this day, I have traveled all the way from GDUFS to the United States. Entering the United Nations is not only a dream that I have been pursuing for many years, but also a lasting memory offering pride that will remain in my heart forever.


UN Headquarters in New York


Back then, when I was preparing to choose my major for the postgraduate entrance examination, I changed my major from economics as an undergraduate to international relations because of my ambition and interests in the development of international affairs. Though it was doubted by many people around me, I insisted on my choice formy passion and firm belief in China's future. Sure enough, during the first year of my master's study in GDUFS, I entered the first enrollment of the program of SIGI of GDUFS, which aims to cultivate inter disciplinary talents who are familiar with international governance and international rules. After two years of study in GDUFS, the students enrolled in the program will be selected and sent to the University of Maryland in the United States to study for a second master's degree in the third year funded by the foundation committee. This training plan is highly consistent with my career development plan, as if it is tailored for me. And it was because of such an opportunity that I was lucky enough to be selected to study for another master's degree in the United States. Next, I had the chance to find the internship opportunity at the UN. Looking back on this journey, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the China Scholarship Council and the Graduate School of GDUFS for their full support and training.


My current job is in the operations and crisis center under the UN department of peacekeeping operations. My main job is to follow up various UN peacekeeping operations, conduct research on economics, politics and culture, and provide relevant peacekeeping suggestions to the ground peacekeepers and the secretariat. In the UN, even just an internship, the work involved is extremely important. The data we are responsible for may be presented directly to UN peacekeepers on the ground, and any error in the data will lead to incalculable consequences. In addition, the slides we participated in were presented to the directors, under-secretaries-general and sometimes even directly to the secretary-general. In this short period of two months, I benefited a lot from both the detail-oriented working environment. This is completely different from being a student in a classroom. Working in the UN, one has to be responsible for everything he does at any time, from small data to the whole report, and he has to bear any consequences after submission.




In the UN building, the people passing by every day may be the permanent representative of a foreign diplomat sent to the UN, and the people standing in line to buy coffee together may also be the director of a department in a high position... The most important thing is that the staff around them are all very professional. Most of their previous study and research fields are related to peacekeeping, such as studies on war and conflict, human rights protection and international law. Every member of staff, from department directors to interns like me, has some kind of rich background behind them. Some of them not only have a degree from Columbia University, but also have relevant field practice and work experience. Above all, no matter what background you come to the UN, you will find something common in everyone: a clear sense of what you want, and a willingness to engage with international organizations and contribute to humanity. And everyone in our office, because of this mission, has become very patient and confident. Everyone in the office is ambitious and eager.


The road to a career in international affairs is bound to be long and arduous. But fortunately, there are always some people better than us along the way, because this is no longer limited to the scope of China. The world's best people will come here. For young people who share my aspiration to participate in international affairs in the future, it is undoubtedly the top priority to find their own direction. For me, the UN internship is a very important step, but it is by no means an end in itself. In the future, I will truly become a qualified inter-disciplinary international talent if I continue to work hard.