action/2015 launch: January 15, 2015

This blog post was written and researched by World Affairs Council Intern, Katie Brown.

According to new research, almost a billion extra people face a life of extreme poverty if leaders duck key decisions on poverty, inequality and climate change due to be discussed at two summits in New York and Paris later this year, with billions more continuing to face a life of hardship. That’s why organizations of all shapes and sizes across the globe are launching a new campaign called action/2015 to galvanize local and world leaders towards action to halt man-made climate change, eradicate poverty and address inequality.

Source: These new calculations released by action/2015 suggest that even in relatively conservative scenarios the number of people living in extreme poverty – on less than $1.25 a day – could be reduced from over a billion to 360 million by 2030. Estimates from other researchers show that the eradication of extreme poverty is achievable for the first time in history – a key objective of the campaign.

Conversely, if leaders fail to deliver and build on the growing momentum for ambitious change at the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development in September and the UN Climate talks in Paris in December, the number of people living in extreme poverty could actually increase to 1.2 billion by 2030. This would be the first increase in a generation (since 1993) and almost a billion higher (886 million) than if ambitious action is taken.

Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Prize winner who put her life on the line for the right to education said;

People globally want an end to injustice, poverty and illiteracy. Our world is interconnected and youth are ready and mobilised more than ever to see real change take place. Together, we are demanding our leaders take action in 2015 and we must all do our part. I will continue to work tirelessly to call on world leaders to seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality primary and secondary education for every child. That is my goal and I hope that my voice will be heard as it is the voice of millions of children who want to go to school.”

Source:When accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala announced the action/2015 campaign, which has since been joined by the efforts of high profile activists such as Queen Rania of Jordan, Bill and Melinda Gates and Mo Ibrahim, in addition to thousands of organizations in more than 120 countries around the world. Through the efforts of this diverse group of actors, the campaign is calling on world leaders to decisively act to eradicate poverty, prevent dangerous climate change and tackle inequality while at these summits. From well-known INGOs like Save the Children and Amnesty International to grassroots organizations working in local communities, the movement aims to make sure the agreements of 2015 are shaped by the people.

action/2015 is calling on the public, particularly youth, to join them in their efforts to instigate change and impress upon world leaders the importance of the issues to be discussed at the summits. Over the course of 2015, the campaign will provide ways for everyone to get involved to make progress in completing the following goals:

  • An end to poverty in all its forms;
  • The meeting of fundamental rights, tackling inequality and discrimination;
  • An accelerated transition to 100% of renewable energy;
  • A world where everyone can participate and hold their leaders accountable.

At  part  of  the  launch,  activities  are  taking  place  in  more  than  50  countries  all  around  the  world.    Many of these are spearheaded by 15 year olds – a constituency who will be among the most affected by the agreements:

  • In Costa Rica, young people will take to their bicycles to raise the profile of the campaign in a cycle rally which will deliver the message of the campaign to leaders and the public.
  • In India, young people are meeting their leaders in 15 states and over 150 districts to deliver their messages of hope for 2015.
  • In Nigeria, 15-year-olds will present their hopes for the future to Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at a live concert;
  • In Norway, a delegation of 15 year old campaigners from across the country will meet with
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg to challenge her to play her part in the summits and secure a safe future for people and planet in 2015;
  • In Uganda young people will challenge the Speaker of Parliament to listen to their demands when they hand over a petition signed by over 10,000 young people;
  • In the UK, some of Britain’s leading youth activists will meet Prime Minister David Cameron and Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Opposition, to urge them to seize the opportunities of 2015.

Pittsburgh will also be participating in the action/2015 launch on January 15th as area students add their voices to youth from around the globe in a call for action for some of the world’s most serious issues. Through a video conference involving Avonworth High School, Cornell School District, and Quaker Valley High School of Pittsburgh, Northwestern High School in Erie, Del Valle High School in Texas, Colegio Newland in Mexico, and Kherad School in Iran, students will discuss how world leaders should address the problems most important to them. They will hear from Michael Klosson, Vice President for Policy and Humanitarian Response for Save the Children, based in Washington, D.C. Students will also participate in the global digital rally by contributing to a “selfie” campaign in which they will share their dreams for the future. These students will join millions around the world in speaking up for a desire for change.

Source: In addition, two students from Cornell High School have been selected to visit Washington, D.C. as part of the launch. Held in partnership among the ONE Campaign and Save the Children, the students will have the opportunity to meet with a high level representative at the White House to share the changes they would like to see in the next 15 years. They will also have the opportunity to tour the nation’s capital. The Cornell students will be joined by 15 year-olds from across the country.

Throughout the program, these students will be encouraged to voice their own hopes for change during the next fifteen years as they look towards a time when they will be the leaders responsible for these issues. Speaking about why she got involved in the campaign, Maryam, a Nigerian child rights activist, who will turn 15 this year said:

“By 2030, I will be an adult, and may have children of my own. My generation might not be the ones making decisions today, but we will be the ones to make sure that our leaders take full responsibility for the actions they take this year.

action/2015 will be a platform for young people just like Maryam and our Pittsburgh students, not only giving them a chance call for action now, but also making them actors for their own futures.



Honorary Consuls in Pittsburgh

world map

Pittsburgh is home to 16 honorary consuls (as of May 2014). Honorary consuls are private citizens who serve (without pay) as representatives of foreign governments in major cities without a formal Consulate General. Along with their countries’ official diplomatic efforts, they help to promote relations with the United States while also assisting citizens from the countries they represent.

The countries represented in Pittsburgh are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Oman, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.  The contact information for the honorary consuls can be found after the jump.


President of the Consular Association:      

Mr. Jean-Pierre Collet

Former Consul of France

1328 Cathedral of Learning

Pittsburgh, PA  15260

TEL: (412) 362-8970

FAX: (412) 362-2301




Mr. Edgar Braun

Andritz-Ruthner, Inc.

Southpointe Industrial Park

125 Technology Drive

Canonsburg, PA  15317

TEL: (724) 745-7599

FAX: (724) 745-9570




Mrs. Anne Billiet Lackner

Carnegie Office Park, Suite 290

800 North Bell Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA  15106

TEL: (412) 279-2121

FAX: (412) 279-6426




Mrs. Patricia Penka French

Bulgarian Macedonian National

Educational & Cultural Center

449-451 W. 8th Avenue

West Homestead, PA  15120

TEL: (412) 461-6188 (W); (412) 831-5101 (H)




Dr. Marion Vujevich

100 North Wren Drive

Pittsburgh, PA  15243

TEL: (412) 429-2570

FAX: (412) 429-2572




Dr. Carol H. Hochman

650 Smithfield Street, Suite 1180

Pittsburgh, PA 15222

TEL: (412) 855-6581




Mrs. Eva M. Robinson

104 Shanor Heights

Butler, PA  16001

TEL: (724) 283-2274

FAX: (724) 283-2274




Mr. Jean-Dominique Le Garrec

1447 Beechwood Boulevard

Pittsburgh, PA  15217

TEL: (412) 726-5893




Mrs. Mahnaz M. Harrison

112 Westchester Drive

Pittsburgh, PA  15215

TEL: (412) 781-0243

FAX: (412) 782-0424




Mr. Paul Overby

c/o Cohen & Grigsby, P.C.

625 Liberty Avenue, Fifth Floor

Pittsburgh, PA  15222-3152

TEL: (412) 297-4694

FAX: (412) 209-0672




Mr. James J. Lamb

President, Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh

Suite 1207 Investment Building

239 Fourth Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA  15222

TEL: (412) 394-3900

FAX: (412) 394-0502




Prof. Carla E. Lucente, Ph.D.

Fisher Hall, 728

600 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA  15282

TEL: (412) 765-0273

FAX: (412) 765-0582




Ms. Simin Yazdgerdi Curtis

The Pittsburgh Middle East Institute

5 Von Lent Place

Pittsburgh, PA  15232

TEL: (412) 654-3523 (Direct); (412) 995-0076 (Main)

FAX: (412) 361-0300




Dr. Jan Napoleon Saykiewicz

825 Rockwell Hall

600 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA  15282

TEL: (412) 396-6234

FAX: (412) 396-4764




Mr. Joseph T. Senko

230 Thornberry Circle

Pittsburgh, PA 15234

TEL: (412) 531-2990 (O); (412) 343-5031 (H); (412) 956-6000 (Cell)

FAX: (412) 531-4793




Ms. Petra Mitchell

2000 Technology Drive

Pittsburgh, PA  15219

TEL: (412) 805-5010

FAX: (412) 687-2791




Mr. Mark A. Nordenberg

Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer

University of Pittsburgh

107 Cathedral of Learning

Pittsburgh, PA  15260

TEL: (412) 624-4200

FAX: (412) 624-7539


BRICS vs. G7: Renewal of East-West Tension

BRIC blog image

Written and researched by World Affairs Council Intern, Jill Fronk

It has been a little over two decades since the end of the Cold War, and already a new burst of cold air is beginning to blow through. The crisis in the Ukraine is drawing a line in the sand with the G7 nations on one side and the BRICS on the other. The G7 is a group of financial and economic ministers from Western nations, formerly the G8 before they ousted Russia over its current actions. BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are emerging economic and political powers, who make up a new growing bloc of influence and power. These emergent powers are a diverse set of governments who struggle to find common ground, but when it comes to a struggle with Western powers they will side with their BRICS compatriots.

Lines Drawn

All international groups have their moment of coming of age, where the international community recognizes the legitimacy they have to influence world events. BRICS’s moment was during the Syrian crisis, when the majority opposed any further military action out of respect of Syrian sovereignty.  Syrian President Al-Assad sent a letter to the BRICS’s summit in South Africa in 2013 requesting their help against Western interference in contradiction with the UN Charter. This letter cemented their legitimacy as a global power bloc, and the potential beginning of a new world order. It also began the clear division in goals between BRICS and Western countries, along with political divisions within BRICS itself.

Now there is the separatist movement in the Ukraine, with Russia annexing Crimea much to the condemnation of Western powers.  Even with political divisions, historical disagreements with the U.S. and other G7 countries push the remaining BRICS countries towards Russia.  It gives rise to old feelings of east against west, the Soviet Union versus the U.S.  As the sanctions against Russia continue, Russia turns to China for help to stave off a worsening recession.  We all flashback to a rocky Sino – Soviet alliance at the beginning of the Cold War which ended in a war in the 1960s.  Only today, their bond is much stronger and sealed in a gas deal that will be paid out in their own domestic currency instead of the U.S. dollar, which is the traditional currency used in trade deals.  This is a symbolic move for the BRICS by undercutting the hegemony of the U.S. dollar as the international currency. BRICS have been attempting to overthrow the U.S. dollar for years, but there is not a viable alternative making any change difficult.  However the symbolism of using domestic currency is not lost on the U.S.

The Beginning of a New Era

This week at the sixth summit of BRICS countries located in Brazil this year, the separation from the G7 grows wider.  Their goal is to finalize plans for the New Development Bank (NDR) and Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA) to reduce dependence on Western Institutions. These two agencies will assist developing countries by giving loans for things such as infrastructure projects and economic shock waves from countries like the G7. This is in response to failed attempts to increase BRICS’s influence in global governance especially with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. A top priority is to ensure equal voting rights within the NDR and CRA which is one of their major issues with Western institutions. These two new international agencies will give developing and emerging economies a new option with the allure of no policy requirements that the IMF and World Bank are infamous for demanding. But really the main goal, is to knock down the U.S. and other G7 countries a peg or two, to show that their time of domination is coming to an end.

Russia’s reactions to G7 pressure over Ukraine can be seen as a signal in the readiness of Russia and the other BRICS countries to counter Western influence. The current state of the world is filled with general uncertainty, economic insecurity, and a sense of unfairness which can be seen in the high number of separatist movements in the last couple of years. The world is ripe for the picking for BRICS this new world division. This leaves an opening for an economic power shift from West to East and the beginning of a new era of bipolarity.

China’s struggle to access water

Think through the past twenty four hours; how much water did you use? Did you use water to cook and wash dishes; do the laundry? How about brushing your teeth?  Now think of what would happen if you weren’t able to access clean, drinkable water by as easily as turning on the faucet. How would that affect your daily life? This is a very real concern for citizens throughout the world. Looking at China in particular, a growing population and massive urban migration movement has created a country-wide water crisis. Recent figures provided by the World Bank place China’s population at 1.351 billion—the largest in the world. China’s population, alone, makes up 20 percent of the world’s population. However, the country is home to only seven percent of the world’s freshwater, which is unevenly distributed throughout the large country—the fourth largest (by area) behind Russia, Canada, and the United States.

China water

(Source: Washington Post, 2012)

A closer look at the problem?

China’s water crisis is a combination of many different components. The first is geography. Water is a critical resource needed to allow farm lands to grow and thrive. Unfortunately, the majority of China’s farmland is found in the north, while most of the freshwater resources (rivers, lakes, tributaries, etc.) are found in the south. Without water, agricultural outputs suffer as crops and livestock are not able to receive the key resources needed to survive. This in turn negatively impacts local food supplies and global food prices.

Another component is urbanization. China’s current urbanization rate is over 50 percent, meaning more citizens are living in cities than in rural areas. This is the result of massive internal migration, a phenomenon expected to continue. A 2013 United Nations Development report estimates that 310 million more Chinese citizens will migrate to urban cities over the next two decades. This puts an unequal burden on larger cities to address the demands of a growing population. For one, Chinese citizens are living longer and eating more water-intensive food like meat and dairy. In order to satisfy the needs of urban residents, water must be diverted from farmers—those largely responsible for growing the food and livestock that is in heavy demand in cities.

Additionally, as China’s major metropolises continue to grow, the demand for other natural resources, like natural gas, also rises. In the recent global unconventional gas boom, China—home to a significant number of shale reserves—has looked to the United States as a model in extracting this inexpensive natural gas resource. However, they are not able to fully exhaust this resource as there is a heavy reliance on water in the extraction process. William Adams and Damiena Ma, authors of the 2013 book In Line Behind a Billion People: How Scarcity will Define China’s Ascent in the Next Decade, argue that this excessive taping of underground water resources, in response to excessive demand, has left China’s coastal region vulnerable to flooding and tidal surges.

Finally, pollution and a lack of education also play a role. Over the last fifty years, China has lost between 27,000 and 28,000 rivers primarily due to misuse by farms and factories, as well as climate change. Further, there have been frequent incidents in which fresh water resources have been polluted to the point of being “undrinkable.” For example,

  • In 2001, the Huai River Valley was contaminated when heavy rains flushed more than 28 billion gallons of highly polluted water downstream. The river water was filled with garbage, topped with yellow foam, and left hundreds of fish dead.
  • In 2012, the Quxi River in an eastern city of Wenzhou ran white after a latex factory spill, and the Qili River in Zhengzhou ran red after heavy rains washed pollutants into the water.

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a “Fresh Water Environment” report in 2011 which stated that more than half of China’s largest lakes and reservoirs were contaminated at levels that make them unsuitable for human consumption. Further, three-fifths of China’s 4,727 underground water-quality testing stations found beneath 400 cities were rated “relatively bad” or worse.

What can/is China doing to solve the problem?

A number of both short-term and long-term mechanisms have been put in place to address the increasing water shortage, the most notable of which is the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. Upon completion, this $62 billion engineering effort will transfer nearly six trillion gallons of water each year from the Yangtze River and its tributaries in the south to the dry regions of the north. The eastern route of the project is nearly finished and has already started to draw water from the river and transport it to Dezhou, a city in the northeastern province of Shandong. Once it’s finished, this route will have 912 miles of canals and waterways. Completion on both the eastern route and the middle route continue to face a number of roadblocks due to complications with polluted water and over-budgeted construction costs.

Desalination plants, which take fresh saltwater from coastal regions and process them for consumption are also growing in popularity and support. Just this month, a coastal desalination plant planned for eastern Beijing was proposed. This plant could provide drinking water to the capital region, home of more than 22 million people, by as early as 2019. Officials anticipate that the plant will supply one million tons of fresh water accounting for one-third of the daily water consumption in the city.  This plant would be phase two of a larger desalination effort. Phase one resulted in the construction of a plant located about 200 miles east of Beijing, which produces 50,000 tons of water each day.

Despite physical efforts being done to address the demand for water, critics argue additional focus should be placed on governmental policies targeting consumers and the treatment of water. One thought is to reduce the overall consumption and waste of water by making it more expensive. Currently, water in China is relatively cheap; costing about a tenth of the price of water in Europe.

Another suggestion is to establish greater fines and punishment for polluters. Many of China’s freshwater supply is too dirty to drink, some so poisonous that farmers are not able to use it on their crops. Cutting down on water pollution would not only aid in the efforts of other projects aiming to divert water to the north, but it would contribute to greater health standards and agricultural production.

These of course are not the only efforts being made to combat China’s water shortage; any Google search will produce a handful more. As China’s population continues to boom and urban migration numbers rise, the demand for clean, safe water will only increase. Only time will tell if these new efforts like the South-to-North Diversion project and the desalination plants will have the desired effect.

Internship Opportunities and Global Learning for the Summer of 2014 and Beyond

There is a lot to be learned outside of the classroom! Whether you are thinking about college applications or possible career plans, a summer internship, study, or travel opportunity is worth considering, and with summer just around the corner many high school, undergraduate, and graduate students are doing just that.

To help start the search process for opportunities available this summer and throughout the school year, we’ve compiled a list of some great internships, study abroad, and travel experiences in international affairs across a wide range of organizations. Use the information below as a beginning guide on your search, but be sure to do some research on your own as well! To help you out, we have listed some additional resources for more information.

Attention teachers: we’ve included a section on summer opportunities for educators below. Scroll towards the end of this post for information on two exciting opportunities.

Internship Opportunities             

Amnesty International – Internship Opportunities: Amnesty International is a human rights organization that provides unpaid summer, fall, and spring internships to rising college juniors (and above) in New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco, and Boston.

Arms Control Association Internships: The Arms Control Association and Arms Control Today offer research and journalism internships in Washington, D.C. This internship program, offered in the spring, summer, and fall, is best suited for undergraduate students.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Internships: APEC is an international affairs and economic organization that provides unpaid internships to graduate-level students who are nationals or permanent residents of APEC member economies. In some cases a financial stipend may be available. The Secretariat seeks candidates from a variety of academic disciplines, specifically those who have a strong interest in the work of international organizations and, in particular, international affairs and international economics.

The Carter Center Internship Program: Semester-long internships are open to undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates in areas such as health, peace, and operations. These internships are unpaid and may take place in cities across the nation and abroad. Internship opportunities are offered year round.

Center for Strategic and International Studies – Internships: CSIS offers full and part-time internships in the fall, spring, and summer for undergraduates, advanced students, and recent graduates who are interested in gaining practical experience in public policy.

Central Intelligence Agency – Student Opportunities: The CIA has competitive internship opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students in a range of fields, including analytical; business, IT, and security; clandestine service; language; and science, engineering and technology. The student opportunities page also includes information on scholarship and co-op programs, as well as ongoing opportunities for students of all ages. Due to the extensive application and background check required, interested applicants should apply 12 months prior to their desired start date. Applications for the Summer 2015 internship program are due March 31, 2014.

Council on Foreign Relations Internships: CFR offers volunteer internship opportunities for college students, graduate students, and recent graduates focusing on international relations and who are pursuing a career in foreign policy or a related field. Interns are recruited year-round on a semester basis to volunteer in both the New York and Washington, DC offices, and all internships are filled on a rolling basis.

Doctors Without Borders – Paid Internship Program: A very competitive program, Doctors Without Borders offers internships in many departments, including HIV/AIDs, Human Resources, Marketing, Medical Editing, Planned Giving, Public Events, Press, and Web. Internships take place in New York City. The deadline to apply for a summer internship is April 11, 2014.

European Union – Washington Delegation Internships: Open to college/university students and recent graduates, internships with the Washington Delegation are unpaid and preference is given to applicants who are available full-time. Internships are offered during the fall semester, spring semester, and summer.

Human Rights Watch Internships: Internships are available to undergraduate and graduate-level students, both within the U.S. and abroad.

International Monetary Fund Internships: The IMF offers approximately 50 paid summer (June – October) internships each year to highly qualified PhD students.

Korea Economic Institute Internships: Applicants to KEI should be graduate students (or exceptional undergraduate students) with a background in political science and/or economics as well as an interest in Asia-Pacific issues, especially Korea. Internships are offered for the fall, spring, and summer.

NATO Internships: The application window for a NATO internship is from March-April for the following year. Internships last 6 months, beginning in either September or March, and are based in Brussels, Belgium. Application requirements include an online application form, CV, and letter of motivation.

United Nations Internships: The UN Programme on Youth provides a list of internships available with the United Nations. Please visit each link for specific details and applicant criteria.

United States Commercial Service Internships: The U.S. Commercial service offers student volunteer internships at U.S. Field Offices, Headquarters, and International Field Offices. This page provides more information about applying to the different locations.

United States Department of State – Student Programs: This page offers information for high school, college, and graduate/post-graduate opportunities within the State Department. Please visit each opportunity for details and applicant criteria.

United States Office of Personnel Management – Student Jobs ( This website is the portal to all job and internship applications for the federal government for students and recent graduates. Internships can be found by searching the site for “internship.” This page also offers information on the Pathways Program, the Presidential Management Fellows Program, summer jobs, and volunteer experiences.

United States Senate or House of Representatives Internships: Many offices of government officials in the House of Representatives and United States Senate offer internships for high school students, undergraduates, and graduate students. A variety of opportunities can be found at the link provided. You are also encouraged to visit the professional website of a representative, senator, or committee for more detailed information.

USAID Internships: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) offers paid and volunteer-based internships, both domestically and abroad, for college and graduate students.

White House Internships: Applicants for a White House internship must be U.S. citizens who will be at least 18 years old on the first day of the internship, and must be enrolled in an academic program. A completed application for this competitive program includes two essay questions, two letters of recommendation, and a resume.

World Affairs Councils: Like the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, many World Affairs Councils across the country offer internships at their organization. This link goes to the World Affairs Councils of America list of member Councils.

World Bank Internships: The World Bank offers paid internships in the summer (June-September) and winter (December-March), primarily in Washington, D.C. Applicants are required to be graduate or PhD students who have ideally completed one or more years of graduate-level education at the time of the internship.


Summer Travel and International Learning Opportunities

Amizade Global Service-Learning: This Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization offers experiences for individuals and groups to travel abroad to participate in service-learning opportunities. There are also accredited study-abroad opportunities, offered in partnership with West Virginia University.

Global Citizen Year: During this year-long total immersion program, offered to recent high school graduates, students will develop critical skills, master new tools, and learn from recognized experts all while living abroad and being fully immersed in a new culture. Programs are offered in Brazil, Ecuador, and Senegal, and last from the summer following high school graduation to the following April.

Global Scholar: An intensive two-week academic enrichment program that offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to sharpen their understanding of international affairs in a university setting. Global Scholar Prep is held at American University in Washington, D.C.

Kosciuszko Foundation Summer Study Abroad Programs: A variety of study abroad programs are offered by the Kosciuszko Foundation for study at the Catholic University of Lublin and Jagiellonian University of Cracow in Poland. Programs range in length and include courses in the Polish language, history, and culture with sightseeing trips on weekends. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2014.

National Geographic – Student Expeditions: Students completing 9th through 12th grades are eligible to participate in National Geographic Student Expeditions. There are four types of trips offered: expeditions, field workshops, photo workshops, and community service programs.

Summer at Georgetown: Georgetown University’s Summer Programs for High School Students include a range of activities, such as Institutes on International Relations and National Security/Counter-Intelligence; Fundamentals of Business: Leadership in a Global Economy; and summer courses on a range of international topics. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2014.

Summer Seminar on Global Issues: New in 2014, the Summer Seminar on Global Issues is a two-week, non-residential program offered by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Global Studies Center and the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Open to rising high school juniors and seniors, the Summer Seminar will expose students to a range of interdisciplinary global issues, and will include language study, presentations from regional experts, simulation and scenario activities, among others. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2014.

World Learning: A partner of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh’s Global Travel Scholarship Program, World Learning offers travel learning opportunities for high school and undergraduate students. The Experiment in International Living offers 3-5 week programs for high school students in 30 different countries, while SIT Study Abroad offers college students more than 70 semester, academic year, and summer programs around the world.


Additional Resources

American Foreign Service Association – Student Resources: The AFSA provides students with information on careers in Foreign Service, internship opportunities in foreign affairs, and other ways to become involved with international relations.

EuroBrussels – Internship Level Jobs: This site lists European Affairs internships/traineeships that are not affiliated with the EU Institutions. Interested applicants will need to contact the organizations or read the requirements to verify whether U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.

European Union Institutions – Traineeships for Students: A listing of internships at the Institutions of the EU in Brussels. There may be a limited number of internship positions available for non-EU students.

Global Job Board: An extensive up-to-date listing of job and internship opportunities, searchable by level, location, and sector. A great resource for internship- and job-seekers alike.

Global Career Blog (Passport Career): Although the main Passport Career site requires registration (and payment) the blog is available to everyone, and is full of advice for job-searching and working abroad.

Summer Opportunities for Educators

10th Annual Great Decisions Teacher Training Institute: Organized by the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions program, the Teacher Training Institute (June 30-July 2) provides educators a unique opportunity to build skills in teaching global affairs, develop international studies curricula, learn about related teaching resources, and interact with other committed international affairs educators. Topics range from defense technology to the Islamic awakening. The Institute is held in New York City. Applications are due by Friday, April 25, 2014.

Summer Institute for Teachers: A three-day (June 24-26, 2014) summer workshop for educators hosted by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, which consists of briefings from experts on contemporary world affairs, small group problem solving exercises, and lesson-planning sessions. This year’s topics will focus on a range of issues including transnational threats, genocide, as well as regional studies covering South America.

Year in Review: International Affairs in 2011

Happy New Year, everyone! 2012 is off to a snowy start here in Pittsburgh, and this seems like a perfect time to review what has happened over the past 360-some odd days.

As always, the global stage was full of tumult and change: 2011 saw the deaths of influential world figures (Warren Christopher, Muammar Gaddafi, Vaclav Havel, Steve Jobs, Kim Jong-Il, and Osama bin Laden, for example); uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa; the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq; devastating natural disasters (earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, typhoon in the Philippines, floods in south-east Asia, and famine in the Horn of Africa); and economic crisis in Europe.

We’ve scoured the web to find some of the best of the “2011 in Review” resources, and compiled them below. Are there any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.

2011 Year in Review (Reuters): Photos and descriptions of the most important news stories of the year, including a dramatic 60-second multimedia video presentation of the key stories, and some of the top images from 2011.

Best Articles of 2011 (Foreign Policy Magazine): Although not necessarily highlighting the most important news stories of the year, here are the most-read articles from in 2011.

Best International Relations Books of 2011 (Foreign Affairs): In every issue of Foreign Affairs, scholars review recent academic and nonfiction books.  At the end of 2011, the reviewers were asked to select the best ones.  Here you will find the best books in a number of categories, including: Western Europe; the Middle East; the Western Hemisphere; Eastern Europe; Economic, Social, and Environmental Subjects; Asia; Africa; the United States; Military, Scientific, and Technological Subjects; and Political and Legal Subjects.

Personal Favorites from 2011 (A Realist in an Ideological Age): Stephen M. Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and writes a blog, A Realist in an Ideological Age, for Foreign Policy.  In this post, he shares his favorite blog posts from the past year, all of which are worth a read.

Shots Seen ‘Round the World (Foreign Policy Magazine): Fifty of the best/most important photographs from 2011, as selected by Foreign Policy.

Top 5 Foreign Policy Books in 2011 (Foreign Policy Association): The FPA asked its staff, editors, writers and bloggers to select the best books about foreign policy. Here is what they came up with.

Top 5 International Documentaries of 2011 (Foreign Policy Association): The FPA asked its staff, editors, writers and bloggers to select the best international documentaries on issues related to U.S. foreign policy. Here is what they came up with.

Twitter’s 2011 Year in Review (Twitter): It is no secret that social media is playing an increasing role in current events. Here is a look at some of the key stories, hot topics, and important moments of 2011 — as seen on Twitter.

Your Top 10 Stories of 2011 (The Guardian): Links to the top ten news stories of the year, as selected by readers.

The Year in Foreign Policy (Foreign Policy Association): The FPA looks at several key foreign policy events that promise to shape the coming year, including the 2012 election.

Year in Review (Foreign Policy Blogs Network): The FPA’s blog network has a number of great, topic-specific “Year in Review” posts, all of which can be found here. Read about 2011 in Russia or Israel, or the year in Global Food Security or War Crimes (to name just a few).


>Food for Thought

>It’s Friday! The weekend’s coming up, and with (hopefully) more time on your hands to think and do things, here’s an inspiring article from the NYTimes about individuals making a difference in international development. Read it, think about it, and have a great weekend!

Highlights from the article:

  • SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) developed menstrual pads out of banana tree fibers to reduce the cost of these sanitary items and therefore keeping more girls in school.
  • A young woman went to Nepal after high school and founded a children’s home, the Kopila Valley Children’s Home, for Nepali orphans.
  • A middle-class couple started a project, One Day’s Wages, to convince people to donate one day’s worth of their yearly income to charity.

Other Resources:

  • Nicholas Kristof’s article, How to Change the World (accompanying the original story)
  • Global Giving, a site that lists causes around the world in need of financing.
  •, another site that lists various causes that need support.