The Charger Blog

International Development and Diplomacy Major Says Attending Diplomacy Conference in Thailand was ‘Life-Changing’

For Keyri Ambrocio ’21, attending the International Diplomacy Forum in Bangkok, Thailand this summer was an opportunity to gain a global perspective, cultural competence, and a deeper understanding of the challenges that people face around the world.

October 21, 2019

By Keyri Ambrocio ’21

Image of Yo Ng at Posters on the Hill
Keyri Ambrocio ’21 (right) and Isabelle Lupinacci ’22 in Thailand.

Participating in the International Diplomacy Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, was a life-changing experience that I am grateful to have been a part of. My first trip to Asia taught me so much about Eastern culture and the different lens through which they see politics and diplomacy.

It was eye-opening to hear from on-ground workers at UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). I learned about the issues they confront and how they handle them. This is different in Asia because many of the issues they face are region-specific.

"This experience certainly made me more well-rounded and culturally competent."Keyri Ambrocio ’21

In our visit to IOM’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, we were able to talk face-to-face with a regional migrant health coordinator. It was also interesting to learn about the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, which is not commonly discussed in the U.S.

Throughout the IDF conference, we had the chance to meet, network with, and hear the perspectives of students from more than 40 countries across the globe. I was able to become more culturally aware while talking with other delegates, and I was able to take in their ideas about diplomacy and politics through riveting discussions about what is happening in their countries.

I was particularly struck by a Hong Kong delegate who spoke passionately about the protests and tensions between Hong Kong and China. I felt fortunate to be able to listen firsthand to her thoughts and ideas about this issue. Hearing speakers from all around the world – such as the former Dutch President of the UN Security Council talk about how it is more important than ever for all countries to work together to solve issues like climate change – was invaluable.

Image of Yo Ng at Posters on the Hill
Left to right: Dr. Chris Haynes, Isabelle Lupinacci ’22, Keyri Ambrocio ’21.

This experience certainly made me more well-rounded and culturally competent. Living in the U.S., it is easy to isolate ourselves from different cultures around the world and from the challenges that others face.

Participating in the International Diplomacy Forum has empowered me to take a more universal, culturally-sensitive, and adaptive perspective when thinking about world problems, and it will no doubt help me in the future. I am grateful for Carolyn Brehm ’96 MBA, Richard Boucher, and Dr. Chris Haynes for making this tremendous opportunity possible.

On behalf of Keyri, the University would like to recognize Carolyn Brehm '96 MBA, the founder and CEO of Brehm Global Ventures, a firm that provides counsel on government relations and public policy strategies, and Richard Boucher, who served as the United States ambassador to Cyprus from 1996 to 1999, for supporting this opportunity.