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Huzan Balay

2016 Alumna
MA International Relations and Diplomacy

As I am about to begin a new chapter in my life and enter the ‘real world,’ I like to look back at all the things and individuals who have helped me turn into the person I am today. Anglo American University is a place I will always come back to, whether it is during a conversation I’m having with someone, a sweet memory of my time in this wonderful city or an actual visit to Prague.

When I attended my first lecture at AAU as a freshman, I was hesitant whether or not I had made the right choice to start school in Prague and at a University like AAU. I had definitely picked a beautiful city but I wasn’t sure I was able to reach my full potential in a small private university like this one. Despite all these uncertainties, I decided to stay and give it a try – I’m glad I stayed!

Unlike a liberal arts University in which students take classes covering a range of subjects, Anglo American University focuses on the field of study that individual student choose. As an International Relations major, I loved each and every single one of my classes. Not only was I able to focus on politics and everything revolving around it, but my professors came from all walks of life, bringing in their personal experiences and making me want to learn more about the subjects they taught. In addition to the vibrant lectures, AAU gave me the opportunity to go beyond my educational walls and expand my horizons through the many activities and opportunities it had to offer.

In 2011, I was part of the AAU delegation who attended a National Model United Nations Conference at Harvard in Boston. We spent a little more than two weeks in the U.S. and had the opportunity to meet with the Andorran Ambassador to the United Nations who gave us a private VIP tour through the UN building. Model United Nations is definitely something AAU should continue in the future. It’s a great chance for IR and Politics majors to put their diplomacy and leadership skills to practice. AAU itself has always been like a little United Nations to me. I have met people from all over the world and have made some lifelong friends who I know will contribute greatly to this world.

As a young Kurdish-American who has grown up in Europe, I look toward to the future with great optimism. Having completed my B.A., and given the current political, social and economic situation of Iraqi Kurdistan, I have decided to move back home after living in exile for 20 years, to contribute to the changes that my region is now undergoing. Amongst many other things, I have AAU to thank for having pumped me with the confidence that I can make a difference in this world, for the future is ours!