Alumnus Francesco de Luca Accepted to Georgetown School of Foreign Service
Alumnus Francesco de Luca graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Economics and Finance and a minor in International Affairs. Due to his parents’ careers, he grew up in Tunisia, Italy, France, and China, and attended French schools from kindergarten through high school. Francesco was recently accepted to Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service in Washington DC.
What made you decide to apply to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service? Please describe your experience at Georgetown so far.
I was previously in a graduate program in economics, but I decided to change when I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in international affairs. I applied to Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service because it offers an incredible range of opportunities to students interested in pursuing a career in international affairs, including a renowned faculty, seminars with experts in the field, and employment opportunities in international organizations and think tanks. The workload is very demanding, and students are expected to attend lectures and take advantage of several extracurricular activities. My fellow students come from all kinds of backgrounds, such as the military, the private sector, and volunteering, and every interaction is a humbling and learning experience.
What sparked your interest in International Affairs?
Growing up in different places, I started to realize how complex relationships between countries that have different cultures, religions, political and economic systems can be. I became interested in making sense of these relationships, which is why I chose to focus on international affairs. It is the study of the interactions between sovereign states and touches upon different fields, such as history, economics, and international law. Being a relatively recent field, it is in constant evolution, which makes it particularly thrilling and challenging.
What brought you to JCU? Are there any professors/classes that inspired you?
I was interested in JCU because it offers students the possibility to craft their own curriculum and study multiple subjects at the same time. I was able to major in Economics with a minor in International Affairs, taking classes in both subjects throughout my path as an undergraduate student. I am grateful to all my professors at JCU, but especially to Professor Silvia Scarpa and former Professor Bridget Welsh, who were kind and supportive enough to help me navigate the graduate school application process.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to join the Italian foreign service in the future. As an international affairs student, I am beginning to appreciate the immense effort it takes to maintain peaceful and mutually beneficial relations between countries. Diplomats work relentlessly to promote cooperation and understanding between countries and cultures, going as far as risking their lives in pursuit of these goals. The example set by the Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Luca Attanasio, and other diplomats who were killed while performing their duties, was crucial in helping me figure out what to do with the degree I am studying for.
What advice would you give to students who are considering pursuing graduate studies?
I would advise them to take the opportunity to delve into their interests by studying different and, possibly, unrelated subjects as undergraduate students. I found out that I was interested in international affairs by taking courses that were not part of my major, and which drove me to pursue graduate studies. Also, I would encourage them to discuss their specific interests as much as possible with their professors; they have the knowledge and the expertise to guide them to the graduate program that suits them best.