Post-Finals Activity: Commencing the Independent Study Project

(Bonus, my go-to study tunes are included below!)

Alas, my final exams are finished! 

But, what does that mean for the rest of the semester? If you think that the answer is that I have four free weeks to hang out with Swiss cows (though, I wish I could)… it’s actually quite the opposite. 

While my schedule will be lighter during this period, I will be writing an extensive research paper on a topic of my choosing and presenting it to my cohort at the beginning of December. Based on my professional experiences and academic interests, I have decided to use my project to determine if China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI) impacts access to strategic supply chains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

This paper is a maximum of 30 pages and requires in-depth analyses of reviewed content. Thus, throughout the next few weeks, I will be conducting research by reading and analyzing available open-source information resources, holding interviews with scholars and public figures, and attending relevant lectures and conferences at Swiss universities. Needless to say, I will be consuming lots of coffee in my favorite café in Geneva and upping my daily minutes spent listening to music on Spotify.

Already, I have perused a variety of Chinese, American, Congolese, and other international sources, as well as talked to public figures to further enhance my understanding of the relationship between China and the DRC. Based on my conversations, I have come to understand that this is a sensitive issue, as it highlights the emerging US-China power competition and conversations of social responsibility in the context of development. 

For me, I think the biggest challenge of this project will be breaking down how states’ national security concerns impact perceptions of development initiatives. However, considering that my courses this semester have highlighted international cooperation and development, I look forward to employing the themes, topics, and policy considerations, that I learned about, to further understand this relationship.

Stay tuned for more updates about my project and ISP period pursuits!

As promised, here are some of my go-to favorite study tunes:

Lyric Pieces, Book 9, Op. 68: Badnlat (Cradle Song): Edvard Grieg, Einar Steen-Nekleberg

Remove the Complexities: Peter Sandberg

Je te laisserai des mots: Patrick Watson

Cornfield Chase – Piano Version: Hans Zimmawe, Javi Lobe

Un sospiro: Franz Liszt, Van Cliburn

Lohengrin Prelude to act I: Richard Wagner, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Coffee: Sylvan Esso

Luv Note: chloe moriondo

in your neighbours garden: mimi bay

Published by Juliana Struyk

Class of 2023 Political Science Major and French Minor SIT Geneva, Switzerland

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