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Sophanit, Student

Sophanit is a Summer Academy student from Rome, Georgia and took our course, "Writing the Big City: Reporting in New York."

Why did you come to The School of The New York Times?

I came to The School of The New York Times because I read about the program in the New York Times and it sounded super interesting. I’ve been listening to The Daily religiously for months and started becoming really invested in the paper overall, so when I learned that I could take a class with them I knew it was something I really wanted to do.

Which course did you take and why?

365体育备用网址I took The Foreign Bureau course because I’m extremely interested in international relations/foreign affairs.

What are your key takeaways from the course?

My key takeaways from the Foreign Bureau course are that foreign reporting can be incredibly dangerous, it takes an insane amount of preparation, every single government is vastly different (even the ones that seem to be so similar), being conscious of cultural and social norms is not only polite but may also be life and death, and people everywhere are going through their own struggle that is different from everyone else’s.

What was your favorite part of the course?

365体育备用网址My favorite part of the course was getting to visit the Council on Foreign Relations, it was so incredibly interesting to hear all about what they do worldwide and it enlightened me on the complexities of foreign affairs. They also let us keep some of the literature they had and I have since read some and still find it so incredibly relevant outside of the course.

Did you have any favorite site visits or guest speakers?

365体育备用网址As I said above, my top favorite site visit was the Council on Foreign Relations, but I also greatly enjoyed visiting Human Rights Watch, where we learned about their work raising awareness about political, economic, and social issues worldwide. As for guest speakers, it was interesting to hear from Bob Nickelson, he gave us the perspective of a photographer which was a unique take after hearing from so many reporters. It was also interesting to hear from John Daniszewski, a reporter who was shot while reporting. He gave us the perspective of someone who had actually experienced what all foreign reports/diplomats fear.

Did you work on a final project?

We did produce a final project. It revolved around creating a parachute memo for a country we would potentially be reporting in. The memo covers everything from flights to a translator to necessary security. It was a mock-up of what you would actually need to send to your editor if you were going into a country as a foreign correspondent.

Who do you think should take this course?

This course is perfect for someone who either wants to become a foreign reporter or someone who wants to go into diplomacy or foreign affairs.

What were your faculty like?

My faculty were all amazing. They were all overqualified people with tons of experience into foreign reporting. With the help of our guest speakers and site visits, I learned way more than I ever thought I would going in.

What does The New York Times mean to you?

365体育备用网址The New York Times to me is one of the most reliable newspapers in the world and I am confident that everything I read/listen to is accurate. It is also the main source I use when looking for evidence either for school or debate. Not only that but, it has also become a part of my daily life, I either read it or listen to one of the several podcasts each day.

What do you think you want to be when you grow up?

365体育备用网址I would love to be a lawyer. Ideally I’d like to become either a prosecutor or go into humanitarian law.

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