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At the beginning of July 2015, students from International Development Management MA and International Economic Policy and Analysis MA/MSc traveled to the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Geneva to learn from specialists across various UN agencies. This is one blog documenting the student experience, written by current International Development Management MA student, Okoye, Ifeanyi Clinton.

“There is no better way to internalize knowledge than by presenting an opportunity for students to see/visualize key aspects of their taught masters program, something which is akin to this Chinese proverb: “A sight is greater than a thousand words”. Visiting the UN HQ in Geneva therefore was a wonderful way to facilitate our appreciation of the subject matter of International Development Management.

The excitement and thrill of touching down in Geneva on 1 July was analogous to that of pilgrim who just arrived in a sacred holy land. The arrangements were superb and we were immediately transported to France where we spent the evening discussing the taste of things to expect from our lectures at the UN, Geneva. The following day we made our way to the UN headquarters where we had several happy pictures outside the complex before being greeted by our tour guide. Once we were cleared by the security office, we visited the many buildings that serve as the different office chambers of the UN – we saw many of the important halls, offices, art works, conference rooms and monuments that adorn the UN office in Geneva. Three well-argued lectures on the responsibility of the UN office in Geneva (UNOG), Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Climate Change (WMO) complimented the day. After which, we retired to our hotel in France where we had a lavish dinner at the Buffalo Grills chatting and sharing our experiences.

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Friday 3 July was the last day of our visit to the UN. Nonetheless, it was a great experience owing to the four long lectures we had from the UN representatives on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Development and Poverty Alleviation (UNDP), Risk Management & Disaster (UNISDR), and response to disasters and emergencies (UNOCHA). The lectures were very insightful and interactive as we asked astute questions, critically analyzing key UN frameworks. Not forgetting, there was time for a sumptuous lunch to replenish us at the UN. After our lectures on Friday, we all took a long walk down to the famous lakeside in Geneva (TGIF), where we spent a fabulous time in a hot-spot chilling with many other tourists who had come to enjoy the lakeside breeze. We had enough to drink and eat whilst we made plans to return to the lake before catching our flight back to London the next day.

On our final day in Gevena we checked out of our hotel at about 12:00. Our tour bus was waiting to take us back to Geneva Airport where some of us decided to wait till it was time for us to board. The rest of the team decided to spend time in the city trying to discover Geneva, and uncover new attractions other than the lakeside. Personally, I noticed that we all wanted to stay on for a few more days in Geneva and continue the fun. Sad to say we had to be back in London by 4 July.
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Finally, I would like to say that our trip to the UN was very informative as we were able to learn from the UN’s finest facilitators such as Julien Gourdon and Sarah Bell. This field trip really helped us to bond as a team, and through eating, drinking, travelling and planning together we formed a tight social bond and came back to London feeling UNITED.”

Written by Okoye, Ifeanyi Clinton (International Development Management MA)

Author profile:

My name is Okoye, Ifeanyi Clinton. I am a Nigerian student studying my interest in International Development Management MA at the University of Westminster Business School. My desire to enroll was born out of sheer passion to gain relevant knowledge on how to initiate and manage development interventions in a developing country and to expand my professional horizons in social work by seeking new challenges in the area of development administration and management.

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