Meet International Affairs Alumna Ingeborg Gruenwald

Ingeborg Gruenwald, who hails from Trieste, Italy, graduated from JCU in May 2022. She has a B.A. in International Affairs with a minor in Legal Studies. In the fall, Inge will pursue a Master’s degree in the Political Economy of Europe and China at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ingeborg Gruenwald

Ingeborg Gruenwald

What brought you to JCU?
I remember that a JCU representative came to my school, the International School of Trieste, and I really liked the presentation they gave. I was very involved in politics throughout high school, and I really liked the idea of getting to know the world through that lens. I saw that JCU had an International Affairs major, and looking at the core classes for that program, it was the one that fulfilled most of my interests. I eventually decided to apply and give it a try.

How did you become interested in International Affairs? Why did you decide to combine it with a minor in Legal Studies?
What I really liked about International Affairs was the fact that it gave me a different perspective on world issues in general. Whether I looked at an event from a political, historical, or economic point of view, I just feel like it made me see the world differently every time. It was very fascinating to me. Originally, I thought I wanted to go to law school after I graduated, but after taking a few law courses I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted to pursue. I really liked the economics classes that I took at JCU, so my Master’s is more in political economy as opposed to law.

Which JCU classes and/or professors impacted you the most and why?
I think that several professors impacted me, but I would definitely say Professor Simona Costagli. I really liked her classes and I thought she was an amazing professor. The last class I took with her on the Economics of China was definitely what made me decide on the Master’s program that I wanted to pursue. Taking that class, I thought, “I want to study this. I am very interested in China and I’m passionate about the language.” It felt like I had finally connected the dots as to what I was supposed to do. My program actually includes one year of studying in Shanghai too, which I’m very excited about. I’ve only attended schools in the western part of the world, so I want to see how things are run elsewhere. Professor Silvia Scarpa has also been fundamental to both my personal and academic growth. I have taken five classes with her, and the skills she taught me are of unparalleled value. Finally, I am deeply grateful to Professor Pamela Harris, who has been a source of inspiration and motivation for me.

What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering applying to JCU?
I would say apply because the years I’ve spent at JCU have been the best years of my life so far. JCU is such a diverse environment in terms of the classes that are offered and the friends you can make from various parts of the world. It’s unbelievable how qualified every professor is and how nice the community is. I’ve honestly had the best experience, so I definitely would suggest JCU to other students.

What are your plans for the future?
I was accepted to the London School of Economics for a Master’s program in the Political Economy of Europe and China, so that’s what I’m going to do next year. I also really like research, so I might pursue a Ph.D. after my Master’s. I want to get some work experience after my Master’s before I continue studying though, so we’ll see.